Critical Considerations when Appointing a Co-Trustee

The recent Texas case of Marshall v. Marshall has various lessons to tell.

Want to know what the case is about? Here you go.

The case was initiated by the beneficiary against a trustee along with five co-trustees of two trusts. The beneficiary claimed that they had breached fiduciary duties.

Following the initial lawsuit, the trustee filed a petition to seek declaratory relief. Moreover, he requested in front of the court to declare that co-trustees were sufficiently appointed.

This is how the beneficiary could obtain a temporary injunction hampering the five co-trustees from getting any compensation.

Later, the court of appeals reversed the litigation.

The Role of Trustees

The creator of the trust has the right to appoint a co-trustee.

A co-trustee shares the responsibilities in supervising a trust. Similar to trustees, co-trustees ought to act for the good of the beneficiaries.

A trust might assign co-trustees with complex tasks or simple duties.

You can appoint anyone to be your co-trustee except a minor.

As a matter of fact, co-trustees might agree with each other upon the decisions related to the trust.

Disagreements among co-trustees often end up in requesting the court to make a decision.

What to Consider?

If you have made up your mind to appoint a co-trustee for your trust, here are a few things you should consider:

  • Place a language in your trust controlling how disagreements should be decided so that they don’t lead to complex decisions.
  • If the person you have appointed as a co-trustee is not ready to serve, you can pass that position to the next individual of your choice.
  • If the person accepts the position, they must act in accordance with the interest of the trust.
  • It is always a good idea to elaborate your wishes and expectations in the trust about how you want the co-trustee to act.
  • Also mention, what ought to be done if the co-trustee act otherwise

If you plan to appoint a co-trustee for your trust, it is better to obtain the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney. You know the right place to refer to; contact Keystone Asset Protection and Estate Planning today and get your issues sorted out.