For living trusts, the person or people who set them up are usually named the initial trustees, but after that, there needs to be a successor trustee. Think carefully about who you would want to take on these responsibilities.
When the first spouse dies, the surviving spouse usually becomes the sole trustee, according to the article, “Women on Money and Mindset: Estate planning: choosing a trustee,” in The (Riverside CA) Press-Enterprise. When the second spouse dies, the trust passes to a successor trustee or trustees. Most people name an adult child, trusted friend or a family member who they trust. You can also name a bank or a professional fiduciary.
Children: Married couples often will name their oldest child as the successor trustee or they name all their children to act as co-trustees. This can work if there’s never been a divorce; there is only one child; she lives close; she doesn’t work and all the assets are investment accounts. However, most adult children will have full-time jobs. Adding the job of trustee can be a strain because it’s time-consuming and technical. The administrative burden of taking care of your final business can be overwhelming.