How Does A Successor Trustee Take Over A Trust?

How Does A Successor Trustee Take Over A Trust?

By |2018-01-23T15:49:24+00:00Thursday, January 11th, 2018|Living Trust, Video Blogging|2 Comments

In this video blog, Petaluma Trust Attorney, Bridget Mackay discusses the authority needed to take over as a successor trustee.


Hi there. Bridget Mackay here, I am an estate planning attorney and elder law attorney in Petaluma, California.

And, today I want to talk to you about a question I get somewhat often, and I got one, got it most recently. And that is, when someone asks how they can, they’re the successor trustees to a trustee. So, let’s just give an example of a parent created a trust named a child as a successor trustee and the child as the successor trustee wants to take over the trust. How did they do that?

There are several circumstances in which they do that. Clearly the most common one is the person the parent dies and then they are the trustee. But the question I had was, or that was given to me was, when my parent is incapacitated and they’re not functioning financially anymore. How do I take over? What gives me the authority to do that? And the easiest answer is that, it’s in the trust.

So, if you are a successor trustee and your parent or the person that you that created the trust and named you as that is no longer functioning as a trustee and can’t manage their affairs. You need to get their trust go to an experienced attorney, find out what the process is for you to take over as trustee. And in fact, that actually is your obligation as a successor trustee to do once you’ve been named in a document.

So, if you have any further questions about this or you find yourself in this situation. Seek out an experienced estate planning attorney and they can help you.

About the Author:

Bridget Mackay is a Petaluma estate planning attorney who has been practicing law since 1996. She is a member of the Sonoma County Bar Association, California State Bar Association Trust and Estates Section and on the Board of the Sonoma County Women in Law. She also sits on the Board of the Cinnabar Arts Corporation in Petaluma. Connect with Bridget on Google


  1. Lee alex May 16, 2018 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    I have a question if a successor comes the trustee because a trustee resigns. Any problems that the trustee faces during their time as trust, does not fall on the successor

    • Bridget Mackay May 30, 2018 at 1:38 pm - Reply

      The successor trustee is not responsible for acts of the prior trustee. However, practically speaking, if the prior trustee left a mess, the successor trustee has to clean it up.

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