One of the most important decisions a baseball manager must make is his batting order – it can mean the difference between a win or loss. (We will not digress to the Marlin’s management decisions – although this is tempting.)
One of the most important decisions you can make for your estate plan is your batting order of successor trustees: who do you want to step up to the plate for you if you cannot? It is important to place in position those persons in whom you have complete trust. Your successor trustee is charged with managing your financial affairs. This person is a fiduciary, and therefore under the law has a high fiduciary duty to follow your trust instructions exactly, pay all taxes on time, keep a good accounting of all monies coming in and going out – these are just a few of the many tasks. For a good summary of successor Trustee duties see our report: 12 Point Summary of Florida Successor Trustee Duties.
Many persons prefer to name a family member as a successor trustee – such as an older child. However, this position can sometimes cause conflict and disharmony in the family – especially when the older child must make discretionary decisions about distributions of trust funds to the other children.