Each trust agreement has a provision for the trustee. The trust will provide for the naming of the trustee and usually a couple successor trustees. It will deal with whether there can be co-trustees, how a trustee resigns and how a successor takes over. It could provide for the Incapacity of the Trustee, Corporate trustees and appointment of an Independent Special Trustee. The living (revocable) trust usually will deal with the trustee succession while both grantors are alive, and the trustee succession of the death of either or both.
These provisions should be thought out carefully. Often the grantors will select a family member because the feelings are that they might be familiar with the family situation. But all too often the family member might live out of town, time has past and they are not as familiar with the situation when they become trustee, or worse yet, they are a beneficiary themselves and find themselves in a conflict of interest. There are not a lot of good resources to give guidance to the duties and responsibilities of trustee for the occasional friend/family trustee. Kern Fiduciary Services, Inc. can provide professional trustee services as a trustee or successor trustee when the need arises.