During estate planning, a person will name a trustee if a trust is formed. A person who is named the trustee of an estate will be responsible for taking care of tax filings for the trust, handling the assets that are held in the trust, and distributing the assets as outlined by the trust. In most cases, a trustee will have the most work to do after a person dies and their estate needs to be taken care of. Being the trustee of someone's living trust is a big responsibility, and the person appointed is often a very close friend, a family member, or a trusted advisor. However, there are situations where the original trustee can't fulfill the duties and a successor trustee is needed. Some of the top reasons to use successor trustee services include:

Avoid Conflict in the Family

Unfortunately, death and the distribution of assets held in a trust can bring out the worst in people. Most people do not want a family rift created because multiple family members are arguing about how the estate was handled and the trust was distributed. In many cases, these troubles can arise when one family member is named as the trustee of another family member's living trust. In the event that family issues arise, the named trustee may want to step down and choose to use a successor trustee service. A successor trustee is an unbiased professional who has no ties to the trust or the person who established the trust, so he or she can perform the trustee duties without creating any family conflict.

The Trustee Resigns or Passes Away

Agreeing to be the trustee of a living trust does not mean that a person is obligated to hold the position indefinitely. A trustee can choose to resign at any time and for any reason. There are also situations where the original trustee may have to be replaced due to becoming mentally incompetent or passing away. If this happens, the best option that the holder of the trust or the beneficiaries have is to seek out the services of a successor trustee service. A successor trustee can step in at any time if the original trustee resigns or is no longer available to perform trustee duties.

Trustee Fails to Perform Duties

When a person agrees to become the trustee of an estate. he or she is agreeing to perform a certain set of duties. If the holder of a living trust dies and the appointed trustee does not fulfill the necessary duties, the beneficiaries of the trust can opt to replace him or her. If this happens, the most logical solution is to hire a successor trustee to take over all of the duties that have not been fulfilled. 

If you are interested in learning more about successor trustee services, contact a team like Pendleton Square Trust to learn your options.