When to Consider a Corporate Co-Trustee

Aug 10, 2021 | Estate Planning & Administration

If you have an irrevocable trust, you may have named yourself as the current trustee and your spouse, partner, or other family member as co-trustee or successor trustee. Presumably, if you were to become incapacitated or die, your spouse, partner, or family member might step-in to serve as sole trustee. However, what happens if you or the successor trustee are not comfortable or capable of serving in that role?

In this instance, appointing a corporate trustee to serve with you as co-trustee while you are still able to serve is an ideal solution for some families. This arrangement is also well-suited for individuals serving as trustee of a family member’s trust if there are concerns about appointing a successor trustee should the current trustee become incapacitated or die.

By appointing a corporate co-trustee, an individual shares the responsibility of trusteeship with a corporate trustee like Cumberland Trust. This arrangement allows a family member to continue to play a role in the trust management, while Cumberland Trust provides the technical expertise.

  • With a corporate co-trustee, you are in the hands of experts. Cumberland Trust is made up of a team of over 120 experienced trust and estate professionals, administering a diverse portfolio of trusts and estates each day. We collaborate with your chosen financial advisor, accountant, and attorney and understand the best steps and practices for handling your trust or estate with respect and care.

  • Corporate trustees have the time and resources to devote to your trust or estate, while a family member with other responsibilities may not. Developing a working relationship with a corporate trustee now also allows the co-trustee to become familiar with your objectives, your trust, and your beneficiaries’ needs and personalities while you are around and able to provide guidance and input. It also gives you the opportunity to evaluate the co-trustee’s service to see how they would perform in your absence.

  • A corporate co-trustee remains unbiased, helping your family maintain harmony through different life stages or after the loss of a loved one. Because of the emotional stress families may go through during life changes or loss, even the most stable and close-knit families can experience discord and tension. Often, having a neutral third-party trustee or executor on the team prevents disagreements and discord among family members. By appointing a corporate trustee to serve alongside an individual as co-trustees, the family maintains a role in the trust management, providing a means for family input while co-trustee provides technical expertise.

  • Since 2001, Cumberland Trust has offered the consistency needed to preserve and honor your family’s legacy. When Cumberland Trust joins a family’s trust team, not only are we determined to uphold that family’s values, but we also offer the consistent administration beneficiaries need. Where an individual trustee may be unable or unwilling to serve at full capacity, a corporate trustee or co-trustee can offer the stability that your family deserves.