What is a trustee vacancy? 

This week we are covering the importance of staying up to date on your trusts, especially considering how trusts may develop overtime.

Recently our firm reviewed a trust that had previously been updated and amended for several years. Most notably there was a large change to the trust that resulted in a successor-sized hole! 

What will happen if the people you have listed as successor trustees won’t serve in the future?

In this instance, the chosen successor had changed over time and elected to no longer serve in that role. The trust maker, being incapacitated, was no longer in the position to change or appoint new successor trustees. 

Does your trust contain provisions that allow a new successor trustee? If not, the state of AZ falls back on our statutes to appoint a new trustee:

  1. Qualified beneficiaries
  2. Going to court

Neither of these are ideal! Without provisions in your trust, the qualified beneficiaries may struggle to appoint a new successor. This process must include ALL named parties in the documented trust, which proves to be long and troublesome. Courts appointing new successors can be equally as painstaking!

To avoid this, regularly update and review your estate plan. Don’t know where to start? I would love to schedule a time to show you all the inner workings of trusts, vacancies, and successors.