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List All Four Successor Trustees?

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Question: 
Our customer has a Revocable Living Trust, with her son as successor trustee. Her son has had a stroke, and, although he has recovered, the trustee has named his wife as successor trustee if the son should be unable to serve. If the wife is unable to serve, she has named her grandson. If the grandson is unable to serve, she has named her granddaughter. She has presented us an amendment to her Revocable Trust stating each of these successor trustees. She is wanting us to list each of the 4 successor trustees and have them sign the signature card as such. I read the amendment as the son would be the only successor trustee. It's not until he is unable to serve that we would change the signature card to reflect the next successor trustee. Is this correct or do we list all 4 successor trustees now?
Answer: 

Successor trustees do not sign any signature cards until they become trustees. At this point these four individuals cannot exercise any authority over the trust funds. If the grantor wishes for them to sign a signature card now, the amendment should add a co-trustee to the grantor.

If you are not sure who has the authority to sign on a trust account, ask bank counsel to review the trust documents.

First published on 01/31/2016

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