Now that you’re looking into setting up an estate, something you may wonder about is how many trustees you can have assigned to a trust. To answer that question, you first have to understand what the trustee’s job is.
The trustee’s job is to hold the assets in the trust. They protect them and only take steps that are in the best interests of the beneficiary. If the trustee does not do that, then they could be held legally responsible for harming the trust in any way.
Trustees have a few duties, such as:
- Completing tax forms
- Putting together paperwork for the trust’s investments
- Monitoring the trust’s investments
- Distributing property to beneficiaries at the appropriate time
Of course, in complex trusts, one person may not be able to do all these things. So, to answer the above question, a trust can have more than one trustee. How many should it have? That just depends on how much work there is to divide.
For example, you could have one trustee that manages the distribution of assets. You could hire another to monitor the direct investments from the trust. A third could be an attorney or someone who knows the law and can make sure the trust is abiding by it.
Having more than one trustee could cause some conflicts, especially if they cannot work together well. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a low number of trustees if you plan to have more than one. Your attorney can give you more information about assigning trustees if you’re getting ready to do so and want to prevent issues in the future.