It is often the case that revocable living trusts and irrevocable trusts (particularly when they are of great cash value) are managed by trust companies or corporate entities. However, it is sometimes the case that a private individual or individuals will serve as trustee. On the one hand, this can be a preferable arrangement because a private individual will rarely charge a per annum trust administration fee — and even if they do, it will be substantially less than whatever a corporation charges. On the other hand, though, choosing a private individual as trustee often means that he/she will not have the same level of expertise and resources as a trust management company.
To combat such difficulties, it is not uncommon for multiple trustees to be named to ensure that more hands are on deck. This, too, comes with its problems, as turmoil and gridlock can result from trustees who disagree about how to best manage the assets. Further, trust advisers can also be named to help assist a trustee.
One of the more common questions we receive with respect to trusts are whether or not they can be changed. Very often a trust is 10+ years old and the settlor (the trust-maker) has deceased — but the terms of the trust are still present, existing, and in full force and effect. Although the power to revoke/amend a trust will usually die when the settlor dies, irrevocable trusts can be amended or modified in limited circumstances in Missouri. (See: Trust Modifications & Amendments). This is a delicate procedure and requires a formal petition and evidentiary hearing in the county probate court.
If you, your friends, or your family are having difficulty managing, terminating, administering, or dispensing with a trust, please contact us today for a free consultation.