Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in North Carolina

What happens in a trust if the trustee dies?

If I establish whereas the trust beneficiary who receives the interest earned off the trust, and is also the remainderman of the principal after say 20 years, and I employ "Jack" as the trustee and he/Jack dies what happens with regards to the trust? Is the trust now non-existent in the eyes of the law?


Asked on 11/15/97, 6:27 pm

4 Answers from Attorneys

Robert Friend Robert H. Friend, Attorney at Law

What if a trustee dies?

No, in North Carolina "a trust will not fail for lack of a trustee". In other words, if the sole trustee dies, the court will appoint another trustee. Of course, the way to avoid this court proceeding is to have named one or more alternate trustees to begin with. Or you can even give someone the power to name a trustee later if it's needed.

I would have to say that not to name an alternate trustee would be a serious mistake in many cases. Banks or trust companies can be named as alternates (of course, they'd prefer to be named as the primary trustee - and they certainly aren't going to die).

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Answered on 11/17/97, 7:10 pm

Vicki Ahl Vicki M. Ahl, P.A.

What if a trustee dies?

My trust documents always contain one or two successor trustees. If no successor is named in the trust agreement, the court will appoint a trustee (most likely a bank).

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Answered on 11/17/97, 9:17 pm
James Hamilton Law Offices of James L. Hamilton

I don't know Jack.....

Robert Friend and Vicki Ahl are correct. Youshould have alternates appointed in the trust,and, if not, a method for selection of same. Ifnot, the probate court in your area will apptone. Your terminology in your question soundslike your being penny rich and pound foolish-Hire a local counsel to draw that trust, or suffer the consequences of your own errors orthose in a computer form book.

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Answered on 11/21/97, 11:31 am
Alan Pransky Law Office of Alan J. Pransky

Death of Trustee

A trust does not fail for lack of a trustee. If the sole trustee dies thenthe trust document appoints a new trustee or the court will appoint thenew trustee. It is also possible that the estate of the deceased trusteewill have obligations towards the trust.

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Answered on 12/30/97, 4:13 pm

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