Trustees will be required to do some or all of the following tasks listed below based on the express terms outlined in the trust’s creation. When putting together a trust, you will need to think carefully about who to install in the role of trustee. This person will have important responsibilities in adhering to your terms and in communicating with beneficiaries.
Some people choose to select an attorney or a corporate entity to serve as their trustee to give them an additional bit of confidence in the management of this important estate planning strategy. Some of the tasks and requirements for a trustee include:
- Acting as a fiduciary and protecting the distribution and investments of the trust at the highest level.
- Investing assets when necessary if the trust dictates this as a responsibility.
- Ensuring safety of assets and understanding the terms of the trust.
- Distributing or administering assets to beneficiaries per the trust terms.
- Making ongoing decisions about management of provisions of the trust.
- Keeping track of records to prepare tax related filings and forms.
- Communicating with beneficiaries to provide statements and account information.
- Answering questions.
It is also possible that a trustee’s duties can change over time. If you are creating a revocable living trust and naming yourself as the trustee by default, think carefully about who should serve as successor trustee.
Having a lawyer assist you with creating and using a trust will support your overall estate planning. Keep your assets out of probate and get the benefits of privacy associated with your estate administration through a trust.