A successor trustee’s power and authority is governed by the terms of the trust. Typically, a successor trustee does not have the authority to alter or change the terms of the trust. In fact, once the trust creators have died, the trust becomes irrevocable and none of its provisions can be changed.

In some estate plan the successor trustee is given authority to change distributions, but this is rarely done. Most creators of a trust want to ensure that their desires and wishes are carried out by the successor trustee. It is also possible for the successor trustee to seek permission from the court to alter the terms of a trust. The court will determine whether the trust should continue in order to carry out the purpose of the trust and if the reason for altering the trust outweighs the importance of carrying out the trust’s purpose. A common example of when the court will allow the successor trustee to alter (or terminate) the trust occurs when it is more expensive to administer the trust than what the trust is worth. We can help with all trust related matters, and are ready to walk with you every step of the way. We remain available to walk you through this uncertain time and to assist you in making good decisions.  To schedule an appointment, call us at (714) 963-7543.