Should More Than One Successor Trustee Be Named?

Should More Than One Successor Trustee Be Named?

  • December 28, 2011

The decision to choose more than on Successor Trustee to serve simultaneously may be based on several factors. Often one person possess all the necessary skills to serve alone. If this is not the case, co-trustee can be appointed and trust responsibilities divided. If co-trustees are appointed, the trust agreement should state the specific responsibilities of each Trustee and how joint decision are made.


Another benefit of naming multiple co-trustees is that if one of them resigns, becomes disabled or dies, the other co-trustee is already in place to continue the trust administration without any interruption. Without this protection, the beneficiaries must deal with the burden of deciding whom to appoint as a Successor Trustee.


A final benefit of naming co-trustees is that they can monitor each other so that trust assets are managed and distributed as the Trustmaker intended. Many believe that is simply good policy to make sure that multiple individuals are jointly responsible for the trust’s administration as it can help prevent the mismanagement, misuse or theft of the trust’s assets.