Is having a co-trustee a good idea in Connecticut?

Determining who will be the Trustee of your Trust can be a very difficult decision.

Many parents want to name their children, but are concerned that doing so will subject them to unnecessary liability, and/or take up a lot of their kids' time. Others are concerned that if they name only one of the children, they will hurt the feelings of another.

These are valid concerns.

Some people will name co-Trustees so as to take some of the pressure off of the children. For example, if an attorney, tax and financial advisor, or corporate trustee (collectively referred to here as an "independent trustee") is named as the co-trustee with a responsible child, the parents may have the assurance that their kids will be taken care of regardless of their time commitments and circumstances when the time comes.

A word of caution - some will consider naming more than one child as co-Trustee to avoid hurting one of the children's feelings. We generally suggest a serious discussion with the Connecticut Trusts attorney before naming two or more of the children in this role. Amongst other problems, naming more than one child can be an administrative burden if one or more of them lead busy lives and it is difficult for them to find time to make decisions. This can lead to procrastination and missing important filing deadlines. To avoid this problem, you may consider naming an independent trustee alone to avoid concerns of favoritism or hurt feelings.

On the other hand, naming an independent trustee as co-trustee under the right circumstances can not only relieve the children of the administrative burden, but also provide comfort to the parents that the estate will be efficiently administered and distributed to the beneficiaries.

If you have questions about co-trustees and whether or not it makes sense to have one given your situation, feel free to reach out to a CT trusts attorney or a CT wills attorney at (203) 651-5521.