Can a successor trustee be added to an irrevocable trust?

Asked over 1 year ago - Phoenix, AZ

My friend had an irrevocable special needs trust setup. She is the trustor/trustee and her daughter is the beneficiary. The lawyer did not appoint a successor trustee in the trust and my friends knowledge was minimal at the time she had the trust done. The verbiage says in the event no successor trustee has been appointed, a successor trustee shall be appointed by the court of a competent jurisdiction. It also states that the trustee may, from time to time amend this trust agreement to address changes in federal or state law, or other circumstances which may affect this trust and it's beneficiaries. Can we type up an amendment to the trust assigning a successor trustee as would be done for a revocable trust or does she have to have this done by a lawyer?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. William John Skabelund

    Contributor Level 5


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The terms of the trust agreement dictate how a successor trustee will be added. From what you have shared, it appears that it would have to be a court order. Generally the trustee is limited in how he/she/it may amend the trust. If a trust protector is in the trust, they often have the power to amend the trust.
    If an amendment can be made to the trust, use a laywer to make sure it is done properly and that it is valid. The trustee needs to remember she/he/it is a fiduciary and must be very careful that everything is done properly in order to avoid liability.
    I am happy to meet with the trustee and review the terms of the trust to give you an opinion during a free consultation. Feel free to contact me if interested.

    Mr. John Skabelund is licensed to practice law in Arizona and his office is located in at Tempe Town Lake in Tempe,... more
  2. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . i depends on the language in the trust and it appears from the facts presented that a court order would be necessary.

    The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of... more
  3. Charles Adam Shultz

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should not do this on your own. Start with the attorney who drafted the trust.

    The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or my firm or... more

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