One reason to create a trust is to help beneficiaries skip probate. Trusts can be customized for many goals, but they all share the common form that property is held in trust, and managed by the trustee for the benefit of the named beneficiaries. Most commonly, people name one person or entity as their trustee, but that is not the only option.
How do I decide how many trustees are right for my trust?
Florida law allows you to name more than one trustee. When you appoint multiple co-trustees, you must designate which trustee can manage the actions of the others. You may wonder why anyone would choose more than one trustee, but trusts are unique to each individual and set of circumstances of the trust.
Why would anyone name multiple trustees?
There are advantages and disadvantages to selecting either one or multiple trustees. A sole trustee can singularly make decisions, but that ability to direct and control the trust may make some individuals uncomfortable if their trust has more complicated and specialized needs. The nature of your needs may also require more than one perspective, but then multiple perspectives may slow decision making. Trustees are allowed compensation and multiple trustees can increase your costs. Per Florida law, courts can remove or name successor trustees, should those be necessary.
What if I do not know where to start with estate planning?
Whether to choose one or more trustees is a personal choice, just as the decision to create a trust is yours. Discussing estate planning with an attorney with experience with trust creation and maintenance is an option, and they can help you arrive at decisions that ensure your unique goals are met. Remember, trusts are just one option for estate planning, and an attorney can review your goals to help create an estate plan that meets your needs, and your beneficiaries’ needs.