Wool Landon


Challenges of Selecting a Successor Trustee or Co-Trustee for Your Estate Plan

When arranging your estate matters, the establishment of a trust and the appointment of trustees are often key components. Wool Landon’s experienced and caring attorneys encourage our clients to consider appointing a professional to assist with their trust when they are no longer able to manage the trust themselves due to death or disability. The concept of having multiple trustees may seem advantageous, but it’s important to consider the challenges that can arise from this decision.

Firstly, collective decision-making can sometimes lead to conflicting viewpoints and slowed progress. Disagreements regarding investment strategies, property management, or distribution arrangements can emerge, potentially jeopardizing the effective execution of your estate plan according to your wishes.

Secondly, it’s crucial to navigate your state’s trust laws accurately when dealing with co-trustees. Each state’s legal framework is intricate, and co-trustees must operate within its boundaries. Any missteps could trigger legal complications, penalties, or even the removal of trustees. Moreover, if co-trustees are geographically distant, this might also hinder coordinated decision-making.

Lastly, the human element of family dynamics and relationships can’t be overlooked. Co-trustees are often family members or close acquaintances, and the weighty responsibilities linked with the role can strain interpersonal bonds. Differences in financial priorities, vested interests, and varying levels of contribution to the trust’s administration can create tension among co-trustees and potentially disrupt familial harmony.

Wool Landon cares about you and your business and family relationships. Evaluating alternatives, such as designating a single trustee or a professional corporate trustee who is well-versed in local regulations, may provide smoother estate administration. Seeking guidance from legal and financial experts remains crucial for informed decisions that align with your objectives while minimizing potential conflicts.

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