If you plan to create a trust for your family, you probably plan to name someone to serve as your trustee. However, you do not have to give the total responsibility of overseeing your trust to a single individual. In some cases, people decide to name multiple trustees.
Kiplinger explains some reasons why some trust creators select co-trustees to administer a trust.
Fill in expertise gaps
You may want someone trustworthy to oversee your trust, such as a relative. However, your family member might not be good at keeping records or making investments. Depending on the needs of your trust, you could name specific people with the education and experience you need to carry out your trust.
In addition, a single trustee may not have enough time to carry out all the trust duties. Selecting one or more individuals could reduce the burden on a single trustee.
Split trustee duties
By choosing multiple trustees, you can assign specific powers to each individual. One trustee may have bookkeeping duties. Another can invest the trust money. A third could take charge of dispensing payments to beneficiaries.
Your trust document should describe the duties of each trustee. Additionally, your document could lay out a method for one or more trustees to remove a trustee that fails to fulfill his or her assigned duties.
Possible drawbacks to having co-trustees
A system of co-trustees may not work for everyone. It is important for all the trustees to work together. Discord among your co-trustees could cause delays in carrying out your trust wishes. It may even lead to litigation between the trustees.
When considering trustee candidates, think about their temperaments and ability to cooperate. It could prevent problems down the road.