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How does one go about selecting trustees and successor trustees?

A Trustee is a person or institution selected to follow the instructions provided by the declaration of Trust. A Trustee has a very high "fiduciary duty" to act with the utmost good faith in dealing with the Trust estate.

Many grantors and their respective spouses act as the initial Trustees of a revocable living Trust. In this way they remain in control until they are incapacitated or die. Then pre-selected successor Trustees are appointed in accordance with the terms of the declaration of Trust. Usually a spouse, family member or Trusted friend are selected as successor Trustees.

Trustees should be knowledgeable about financial matters, be Trustworthy, know how to manage and invest the Trust estate, care about the beneficiaries of the Trust, and have the financial capacity to reimburse the Trust in the event that they make serious mistakes. If a bank or Trust company is selected to serve as a Trustee of a Trust, it will usually charge a fee for this service, which is then paid from the Trust estate. An attorney can give you specific advice as to who you might name as a Trustee, in light of your own personal and family situation.