Important legal documents should be prepared with care and understanding. A living trust is no different. When creating a trust, one should weigh the important question of who should become the successor trustee, knowing that the position comes with heavy responsibilities. In Florida, while it is certainly possible to go through the trust process without a lawyer, trust administration attorneys are also good resources for this legal process.
Usually a family creates a living trust as a way to pass on the estate to the next generation and avoid the probate process. The two spouses are typically the trustees, and when one spouse dies, the other takes over. In the event of the death of both spouses, a successor trustee must be named or the trust will enter the court system.
Families tend to choose adult children or responsible family members and these are good choices for most families. But trust administration can be both time-consuming and technical, so it may not be the best fit for grieving relatives or those with full-time engagements. Other options for successors include friends, professional fiduciaries and banks. While one does not have to pay a friend, some fee is typically granted to them for their time. Banks and fiduciaries both have their own fee scales, and this should be taken into consideration when one makes the choice.
A trust can be a complicated legal document and must remain in compliance with current Florida law. Trust administration attorneys are familiar with these laws and can be an important help. When a person is able to choose the right estate planning option, it will help the legacy to thrive.
Source: pe.com, “Women on Money and Mindset: Estate planning: choosing a trustee“, Tami Sipos, Sept. 2, 2017