Many people like to add testamentary trusts to their New Jersey estate plans. These trusts allow you to make special provisions for one or perhaps even all your surviving loved ones. For example, grandparents often create testamentary trusts to distribute assets to their grandkids.
As you would in all your estate planning efforts, you have likely thought long and hard about naming a trustee for your testamentary trusts. You may have found the ideal candidate, but what happens if a time comes when they can no longer fulfill their duties?
Naming a successor trustee helps avoid trust problems
Even the best-laid plans require a contingency, especially when it comes to estate planning and administration. Naming a successor trustee may ensure that your trusts perform as intended if your first choice cannot take on the role.
Should your trustee die or become incapacitated and cannot manage the trust, it could lie waiting for a New Jersey court’s attention for quite some time. However, if you already have a second trustee onboard, your trust may continue functioning with little, if any, delay.
A court will name a successor trustee if necessary. However, there are two significant disadvantages of having a court-appointed trustee.
- It usually takes a while to have a new trustee appointed, leaving the trust with no one to manage its funds.
- You risk the court naming a trustee that knows nothing about your family or your long-term goals as the trust beneficiary.
Appointing a successor trustee helps prevent these issues. It is also wise to include instructions in your documents for appointing yet another trustee if the first two cannot perform their duties. Take time to learn more about trusts and estate administration to ensure that your plans are carried out as intended.