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Alexandria, VA Estate Planning Blog

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Trustee Vacancy: What Happens Next?

What is a Trustee Vacancy?
A vacancy in a trusteeship occurs if:

1. A person designated as trustee rejects the trusteeship;
2. A person designated as trustee cannot be identified or does not exist;
3. A trustee resigns;
4. A trustee is disqualified or removed;
5. A trustee dies; or
6. An individual serving as trustee is adjudicated an incapacitated person.

Trustee Vacancy: Generally
If one or more cotrustees remain in office, a vacancy in a trusteeship need not be filled. A vacancy in a trusteeship shall be filled if the trust has no remaining trustee.

Whether or not a vacancy in a trusteeship exists or is required to be filled, the court may appoint an additional trustee or special fiduciary whenever the court considers the appointment necessary for the administration of the trust.

A successor or surviving trustee shall succeed to all the rights, powers, and privileges, and shall be subject to all the duties, liabilities, and responsibilities imposed upon the original trustee without regard to the nature of discretionary powers conferred by the instrument, unless the trust instrument expressly provides to the contrary, or unless an order appointing the successor trustee provides otherwise.

Trustee Vacancy: Non-Charitable Trusts
A vacancy in a trusteeship of a noncharitable trust that is required to be filled shall be filled in the following order of priority:

1. By a person designated pursuant to the terms of the trust to act as successor trustee;
2. By a person appointed by unanimous agreement of the qualified beneficiaries; or
3. By a person appointed by the court pursuant to §§ 64.2-1405 and 64.2-1406, or pursuant to § 64.2-712.

Trustee Vacancy: Charitable Trusts
A vacancy in a trusteeship of a charitable trust that is required to be filled shall be filled in the following order of priority:

1. By a person designated pursuant to the terms of the trust to act as successor trustee;
2. By a person selected by the charitable organizations expressly designated to receive distributions under the terms of the trust, subject, however, to the concurrence of the Attorney General in any case in which he has previously requested of an organization so designated that he be consulted regarding the selection of successor; or
3. By a person appointed by the court pursuant to §§ 64.2-1405 and 64.2-1406, or pursuant to § 64.2-712.



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