Living wills and trusts are a very popular way for people to organise the way their estate will be handled when they pass away. They usually state very clearly each and every condition and person who is to benefit at what time (e.g. when a spouse dies, the trust goes to the living spouse who may change the terms of the trust). A key component is the trustee who oversees the administration of the trust after the parties are deceased. Resigning as a trustee is simple.
A good practice is to review your living wills and trusts on a yearly basis to make sure that everything is up-to-date and correct. If you are going to be a trustee on a living trust when those who have the trust are still alive, find out if they do yearly reviews. If so, you can ask them to replace you as the trustee in their next review session.
When Asked to be a Trustee
Look to the future if someone asks you to be a trustee of their living trust. If you believe you can fulfil the obligation but are not 100 per cent sure, ask the parties involved to name a successor trustee in case you cannot do it or need to resign.
If You Must Resign
If you are already the working trustee of a living trust and the original estate holders are deceased, you still can resign. You need to go to the planners of the trust and sign a formal letter that relieves you of your duties. If no successor has been named, you and the original planners can try to chose one together.
Try to Fulfill Your Obligations
But if you can do what you said you would do, most of it is pretty simple. The whole reason these wills and trusts are written with so many conditions in place is so that no one person feels slighted or in need of legal action. Usually you contact all parties and have them sign off on their inheritance. This is the case for the average Living Trust.
Trustee As Full Time Job
However, if you are a trustee of a living trust that is a source of income for corporations or philanthropic endeavours, and it is a full time job with pay, you need to work with the Board of the Trustees to resign and appoint a successor. Usually someone involved with this kind of major trust does it professionally and interviews for the job prior to the estate holders dying.
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