Acting as trustee is an important task, and choosing a trustworthy person to oversee the trust is one of the most important ways to protect your assets and the loved ones who will act as beneficiaries. Connecticut law allows you to name multiple trustees to act together in the management of the trust. Why might you want to consider naming two or more people as co-trustees?
Co-trustees must make decisions together.
One of the biggest advantages of naming co-trustees is that they must make decisions about the trust together. While trustees do not need to make decisions unanimously, they make decisions according to what the majority believes is the right course of action.
Because of the power that they have over the assets placed in trust, it is possible for unscrupulous trustees to abuse their position for personal gain. With multiple trustees, it becomes more difficult for one trustee to breach their duties as trustee because there are other trustees to weigh the merit of their decisions.
This does not, however, mean that abuses cannot happen, as co-trustees working together can still take advantage of their position.
Naming multiple trustees allows the trust to benefit from a greater range of experience.
Trustees must address a wide variety of different concerns when administering a trust, from paying taxes to addressing beneficiary concerns. While one person may not have the skills and knowledge necessary to uphold all these duties, multiple trustees may be able to use their unique skill sets to create a more comprehensive strategy. For example, Forbes notes that naming co-trustees could allow a trust company to make financial and legal decisions about trust administration while benefitting from insights from a family member.
While naming co-trustees can benefit some, it can be helpful to discuss your estate plan with an attorney to determine the best way to protect your assets and your loved ones.