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When the original trust was drafted, were there two co-trustees named in the trust document?
Or did the co-trustees take over after the original trustee resigned or died?
My question is what must one do to "accept" role as trustee besides just being nominated?
The mere nomination in a trust for someone to be a trustee or co-trustee doesn't actually put them in that position. The person who was nominated has to actually agree to serve in that role in order for the appointment to be effective. They normally agree to do so once the grantor drafts the trust and asks them to serve in that role. However, they are free to refuse to serve in that role if they don't want to and also could resign at any time if they wanted to. Serving as a trustee is a completely voluntary position, but once someone accepts that role, they have a legal and fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of the trust to act according to the directives in the trust and carry out trust objectives.
So if he never accepted the appointment to that position as co-trustee, or indicated that he was rejecting that appointment, then the remaining trustee would have to continue to carry out the trust directives as if they were the sole trustee.
However, unless the grantor (maker) of the trust just pulled his name out of thin air, then it is likely that he agreed to serve in that role when asked by the grantor because otherwise there would not have been any reason to list him as a co-trustee..