Guidelines for Successor Trustee


© Copyright 2011 Lee A. Drizin, Chtd.


Upon the death of the Second Spouse the Successor Trustee will become responsible for distribution of the Trust Assets.  However, the Successor Trustee should not immediately distribute the assets from the Trust.  Instead, the Successor Trustee should immediately contact our office and schedule a time to discuss the procedures which should be followed.  We have outlined below certain steps he/she should complete before meeting with us.

1. Review the Last Will and Testament of the Decedent for specific funeral arrangements, cremation or organ donor provisions.

2. Obtain at least ten (10) original death certificates.

3. Collect all of the financial records, including, but not limited to, check books, account statements, and tax returns.

4. The Trustee is a fiduciary and has the obligation to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries or he/she can be held personally responsible.  Therefore, if assets are to be held in trust for longer than six months, the Trustee should obtain professional investment advice regarding the trust assets.

5. In the event the assets are to be distributed to the beneficiaries over time, the Successor Trustee will be required to file an annual account.  Therefore, it is important to maintain accurate records of all disbursements and income.

6. The Successor Trustee must determine if any file federal income tax return and/or federal estate tax return are due.

7. Notify Social Security of the death and contact the Veteran’s Affairs, if applicable.

8. The Successor Trustee should contact this office for an appointment to review his/her responsibilities and assist in the performance of their duties, including the distribution of the assets of the trust in accordance with dispositive provisions.

The information presented herein is general information only and should not be considered legal advice nor should you rely solely upon this information in taking any actions regarding your matter.  While no attorney-client relationship is formed by supplying this information, please do not hesitate to contact us at (702) 798-4955 to schedule a time to discuss your particular circumstances.