Over the past 35 plus years of practicing law in the Schaumburg and Hoffman Estates area, we have counselled thousands of clients in estate planning matters. Among the most significant issues discussed are the characteristics one should consider in selecting a trustee of a revocable living trust. Whether one is considering who to serve as Agent under a Power of Attorney, Executor of a Will, or Trustee of a Revocable Living Trust, one of the main considerations is trustworthiness.
The person you are naming would be assuming “fiduciary duties,” the highest duty under the law. The Trustee may be serving for an extended period of time, quite possibly with no one looking over their shoulder. Oftentimes I ask my clients to consider the checks and balances approach in having two or three individuals serving as Co-Trustees. Even though this structure may seem a little burdensome, the implicit protection of two or more people handling the financial affairs of the trust may dwarf the perceived cumbersomeness of more than one person administering the trust.
Under the Illinois Trust and Trustees Act (760 ILCS 5/1 et. seq.) a majority of the trustees are authorized to act, but a dissenting trustee has no liability for the acts of the majority. 710 ILCS 5/10. This statutory provision allows for flexibility for efficient management while protecting dissenting trustees. I often encourage my clients to consider appointing three co-trustees to administer their revocable trusts in the event of their demise or incapacitation.
As always, individual consideration and one’s own personal situation need to be evaluated in determining the best course of action to take in any given case.
Please feel free to contact our office if we can be of assistance and service to you to help you fulfill your estate planning goals. Although many of our clients come from Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, Streamwood, Hanover Park, Bartlett, Elk Grove Village and Palatine, we focus on meeting the estate planning needs of our clients drafting Wills, Revocable Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Irrevocable Trusts and ancillary documents throughout the northwest suburbs of Chicago and the greater Chicagoland area.