Lawyer Monthly - November 2022

With all of that being said, when it comes to selecting successor trustees and beneficiaries it is a matter of considering the personalities of the individuals involved as you are establishing your trust. You may already have someone in mind to be your successor trustee. Many individuals feel most comfortable with choosing a child or family member or even a friend, and many parents who do not want to have their children feel like they are choosing a ‘favourite’ to be in charge after they are gone will name all of their children as co-trustees. The problem with naming more than one person as your successor is that it can lead to disagreements and discord depending on their relationships with each other. It is like the saying: “Too many chefs in the kitchen spoil the soup” – the same applies here. Too many successor trustees can prevent the trust from being properly administered, which can potentially result in another type of court process where the judge will have to instruct the trustees how to proceed. Therefore, it is important to consider whether the individual(s) you have in mind for your successor trustee(s) are: • Trustworthy • Highly responsible • Able and willing to follow the instructions set out in your trust without trying to take any shortcuts • Able to handle high-stress situations • Good with money management • Collaborative, communicative and accessible After the loss of a loved one, grief and even greed have a way of putting all those involved in the administration of a trust on edge. By choosing the right successor trustee, you are ensuring that your wishes are followed and probate is avoided with your trust. This is crucial in taking care of your estate and loved ones after you are gone. Additionally, another way to avoid future conflict, potential litigious situation, or disappointed expectations is by talking to your successor trustees and beneficiaries about your plans and intentions. It is important to inform them on how you intend to divide your estate and who will administer your trust. I may be an uncomfortable conversation, but in many cases, it will be a conversation worth having. Creating a trust is an investment worth making. You have everything to gain by protecting your legacy and assets from probate with a revocable trust. FEATUREOF THEMONTH 17 Contact Brianna Giliberto-Hermann Founder Law Office of Brianna J. Giliberto-Hermann 1730 West Cameron Avenue, Suite 200 West Covina, CA 91790, USA Tel: +1 626-391-8277 E: About Brianna Giliberto-Hermann My name is Brianna J. GilibertoHermann, Esq. Before I embarked on my legal career, I graduated as a dual major in art and art history on a performance scholarship at the University of La Verne while acting as a caregiver for my grandmother. I received my Juris Doctor degree from Western State College of Law along with a Certificate in Criminal Law Studies thanks to my innate skill in trial advocacy and passion for justice. I was selected as the recipient of the Wallace R. Davis Public Service Award in 2020. On 15 March 2021, I opened my own firm, the Law Office of Brianna J. Giliberto-Hermann, and I have successfully assisted hundreds of clients. The primary areas of the practice include estate planning, probate and trust administration.

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