Cortes Law Firm, Estate Planning, Probate, Trust Administration
Is Sister a good choice for Successor Trustee?
Is your brother or your sister a good candidate to be your successor trustee or really even your personal administrator or executor for a last will and testament?
In a recent video, I talked about how to pick a successor trustee. And really the bottom line is you have to find somebody, whether it is a relative and that could be a brother or sister or one of your children or a CPA, attorney or even a professional trust company.
Whoever you pick, you have to have explicit trust in that person or entity to do what you want them to do and to follow the directions that you have in your trust. Right? It makes sense.
But the question since that video has come up and it goes like this. Well, I want my brother or I want my sister to be my successor trustee. Do you think that’s a good idea?
Successor Trustee Changes as You Age
It could be. And it’s probably a really good idea, depending on how old you are. So if you’re in your thirties, forties, fifties and sixties, a brother or sister probably is the perfect person to be your successor trustee. If your spouse can’t do it because you usually have your revocable living trust set up to take care of your children and you may want not want thereto be fights between the children.
You pick kind of an independent third-party or third party family member to be the successor trustee over your trust. The problem that happens is that as you age, well. So does your brother or sister. Right?
If you’re 50 years old right now, then your brother or sister are probably the perfect person to step into your shoes and take care of your affairs if it becomes necessary. But as you get older, if you’re in your eighties or your nineties, your brother and sister may not be the right people to be in that role.
They may not be comfortable with taking on that huge responsibility of having to deal with your finances, having to deal with your children, having to make distributions according to what you have in your living trust centered estate plan. So what I tell people is, yes, a brother and sister are a fantastic choice if you trust them implicitly to do what you need them to do in your trust.
As You Age So Does Sibling
However, as you get older, you need to have backups. Just like I tell you all the time that you need to meet with your estate planning attorney at least once a year to see if any changes need to be made to your revocable living trusts Centered Estate Plan. At that meeting, you should discuss with your estate planning attorney on whether or not your brother or sister, or somebody who is your same age is still a good candidate to be your successor trustee.
And if they’re not, your estate planning attorney will help guide you and finding somebody who can step into that role who you can implicitly trust. It might be another attorney. It could be a CPA or, like I have said many times, it could be a professional trust company if you have enough assets to hire them.
Don’t make the mistake of having your brother or sister be your successor trustee if they don’t have good health or they’re just as old as you ,and they may not want to make those decisions on your behalf just because they don’t have to do them for themselves. Why should they have to do them for you?
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