How to Decline being Successor Trustee

Updated: Jun 25

This column first appeared in the San Antonio Express News and other Hearst Newspapers on January 12, 2021.

Dear Mr. Premack: My older brother listed me as a successor Trustee in a new Living Trust signed by him and his wife. They did not ask me, I did not sign, and they just now told me. They are Trustees as long as they are healthy and alive, but the Trust says I must manage their finances if they are ill or after they die. I told them I would rather not have that responsibility and asked them to remove my name, but they said I can just decline later. I spoke to the other successor they listed, and she also said she was not asked and does not want the job because their daughter / beneficiary has drug and criminal behavior issues. When they die, how do I decline? Can they legally require me to manage the Trust for their daughter, or am I able to decline the job? H.C.