Who can serve as Trustee?

Who can serve as Trustee? (1)

Tuesday, 12 April 2016 01:51

Who Can Serve as a Trustee?

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Who Can Serve as a Trustee?

Qualification to Serve as a Trustee 

Generally speaking, to serve as a Trustee of a Revocable Living Trust, or Irrevocable Trust or the like, the Trustee must have the capacity to acquire and hold property and to administer the Trust.  In California, you may also use a licensed private fiduciary to serve as Trustee.  It would appear the more important question to ask yourself is not what the legal requirements are, but who do I trust that will do the best job as Trustee. 

The person or persons that establish the Trust are called the Settlor or Trustor.  Most of the time, upon setting up a Trust, the person will be the Settlor, the Trustee, and the Beneficiary.  With married couples, the couple will usually be co-trustees.  The Trust will allow either spouse to act alone should the other spouse die or become incapacitated.  Also, the Trust will name a successor trustee or co-trustees. 


Whom Shall I Choose to be my Trustee? 

The Trustee’s job will be to administer your estate, and follow the instructions you provide in the Trust document.  These tasks include things like paying bills, dealing with taxes, manage Trust property, collect any income, save and invest, provide for your loved ones, buy and sell property and assets, maintain accurate records, and keep matters in good order.

As you can see, there are several factors to consider when trying to decide on a Trustee.  Ask yourself questions like:

  • Is my Trustee familiar with my family and any family dynamics?
  • Is my Trustee familiar with my assets?
  • Is the potential Trustee good with money?
  • Would the Trustee be organized and pay attention to details?
  • Would my choice of Trustee be overwhelmed in managing my particular assets?
  • Does the Trustee have the time to serve as Trustee?
  • Will the Trustee get along with the Beneficiary or Beneficiaries?
  • If you will be using co-trustees, do they get along with each other?
  • Is the proposed Trustee likely to have health or financial problems?


I can be of assistance in helping you choose a Trustee or successor Trustee.  Call me today and we can start planning. 


The California Probate Code deals with Trusts, Trustees, and Beneficiaries among quite a few things and the General Provisions on Trustees can be found here:



See lots of estate planning information on my website at: www.myestate-plan.com


My most important job is to listen to your wishes then suggest solutions.  Call today and let’s start planning!


Thanks for reading!


Dan Powell





Just like my website, nothing in this blog is intended as legal advice. If you need legal advice, contact an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. I am licensed to practice law in California.  Further, please remember that I speak in generalities in my blog (and on my website). There are so many different factors that can contribute and completely change the outcome that it would not be practical to discuss all of them here. This is why I speak in generalities. Thanks again for reading.


This document is for informational purposes only.  Nothing in this is to be considered legal advice.  Nothing in this shall create an attorney/client relationship, nor shall it create a confidential relationship.  If you need legal advice (in California), feel free to contact me or someone licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.  I assume no liability or responsibility for actions taken, or not taken, as a result of reading this information.

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