trust books
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn

Do you have a trust, or are you considering adding a trust to your estate plan? If so, choosing a successor trustee is a crucial step in the process. 

A poor choice for a successor trustee could destroy the legacy you built for your family. Choosing the wrong person to administer your trust could cause stress and costly litigation for your beneficiaries. Our Florida estate planning attorney can help you develop a trust that meets your needs and goals, including helping you choose the right successor trustee for your trust agreement. 

What Is a Successor Trustee in Florida?

Many individuals serve as trustees for their trusts. A trustee manages the trust assets according to the terms of the trust agreement. When a vacancy occurs, a successor trustee is appointed. Vacancies in trusteeship occur if:

  • A person designed as trustee declines the appointment;
  • The trustee resigns;
  • A person designated as a trustee does not exist or cannot be located;
  • A trustee dies;
  • A trustee is removed or disqualified; or,
  • The trustee is adjudicated to be incapacitated. 

In most cases, the person who creates the trust chooses a successor trustee and names that person in the trust. If no successor trustee is named or the successor trustee cannot or will not serve, the court can appoint another person to serve as trustee.

Therefore, it is crucial to name at least one person to serve as successor trustee in case you become incapacitated or die. However, choosing someone you trust to manage the trust is equally important.

What Should You Consider When Choosing a Successor Trustee?

Many factors impact the choice of a successor trustee for a Florida Trust Agreement. Things to consider when choosing a successor trustee include:


You want to choose someone you can trust to administer your estate. Your successor trustee is responsible for carrying out the terms of the trust and managing the assets. Trustees are responsible for doing what is in the best interests of the trust beneficiaries. Therefore, you want someone with integrity and truthfulness.

Willingness and Ability to Serve

Your successor trustee must have the ability to serve as trustee. Therefore, the person or party must meet the legal qualifications for a trustee. Furthermore, the person should understand the role of the successor trustee and how to carry out the duties and responsibilities. 

Additionally, the person must be willing to serve. Therefore, it is wise to talk with the person you want to serve as the successor trustee to ensure they are willing to do so.

Responsible and Diligent

A successor trustee has many duties to fulfill. The person you choose should be responsible and willing to take their role and responsibilities seriously. A trustee should be willing to work hard to ensure that everything is completed correctly.


Successor trustees might be placed in the position of telling beneficiaries no if their requests go against the terms of the trust. The person you choose should be caring, but they should also be strong and professional. They need to be able to say “no” and be willing to take the matter to court if necessary. 

Contact Our Florida Estate Planning Attorney for a Free Consultation 

Trusts are an important tool in the estate planning process. Contact the Law Offices Of Jeffrey A. Herzog, schedule a free consultation with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney. We are here to help you develop an estate plan that protects your assets and family while accomplishing your goals.