So what exactly does a successor trustee do?
When one becomes incapacitated, a successor trustee looks after ones care and manages financial affairs for as long as needed, using assets to pay the trustee's expenses. If the trustee recovers, they resume control. When they die, the successor trustee pays debts, files tax returns and distributes assets. All this can be done quickly and privately, according to instructions in the trust, without court interference. This is one major benefit of having a successor trustee. The court interference is minimum.
The Successor Trustee is not forced into this role. You may deny the responsibility and a next person will be chosen. However if you decide to move forward..
Here are some of your next steps:
It is your job to inform the family and any kin that you are the successor trustee.
You should be accumulating information about the assets and properties that you are now going to handle and ensure they are protected.
Notify current accounts, organizations and billing institutions that you have taken over financial responsibility.
If the person is in a disabled state and not passed you might have to help apply for any benefits that they may be entitled to while in the disabled state.
With you being their eyes and ears, it is up to you to see they get the best care possible if not passed and help to keep all bills, taxes, property and responsibilities of theirs up to date.
It is important that while learning about these trusts, wills and the steps involved that you understand the imperative nature of having a will or trust yourself. While you might be the one doing these things for someone else, there will likely come a time where you and your life's work require the same amount of care. Talk to us today to get more information on preparing for the future.