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Imagine a single person with a net worth in the millions but less than 10 million. He / she is thinking about having a new will drawn up and setting a living revocable trust. Part of the idea behind the living revocable trust is to plan for a possible incapacity situation. If the successor trustee on the trust is a different person that the personal representative on the will, is that going to cause problems when the person dies?

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If the successor trustee on the trust is a different person that the personal representative on the will, is that going to cause problems when the person dies?

Not necessarily. The personal representative of the probate estate is mostly charged with taking assets not titled in the revocable trust that are present at death and retitling them into the trust.

The trustee is charged with managing the trust assets.

Typically, you would want two people who are capable of interacting with each other in a civil manner and carrying out their respective duties, but that is all.

One reasons to have two different people would be to have a personal representative who is older to exercise discretion in distributing sentimental tangible personal property from the probate estate in a sensitive way, while having someone young serve as trustee if the beneficiaries are, for example, mostly grandchildren, since otherwise the trustee is likely to predecease the beneficiaries not long after the trust is created and before it terminates.

On the other hand, if the personal representative and the trustee are people who are estranged from each other and incapable of interacting in a civil manner, that could cause problems.

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