A back-up or successor trustee helps to create a relatively smooth transition if, or when, a change is necessary.
Sometimes a successor trustee is named in a trust or is named when a trustee or conservator is appointed by the court. Occasionally co-trustees or co-conservators are appointed to act jointly. In these cases, there is a back-up fiduciary ready to serve if the current fiduciary is unable to continue functioning for any reason.
. . . it is helpful for the successor to be familiarized with the case, and for the beneficiary or conservatee to be familiar with the successor.
I am in the process of implementing a succession plan for all fiduciary cases as follows:
For trusts that are not supervised by the court, a back-up fiduciary—who is a good match for the beneficiary or beneficiaries—has been or will soon be appointed in accord with trust provisions. For court-supervised cases, prior to the due date of the next accounting, a successor will be named and the court will be asked to approve this back-up fiduciary. This plan is in process and will be completed within the next year or two.
Even when the back-up fiduciary is not initially involved in the administration, it is helpful for the successor to be familiarized with the case, and for the beneficiary or conservatee to be familiar with the successor. This plan is being implemented in our office. It should help to create a relatively smooth transition if, or when, a change is necessary.