Before You Agree to Be a Trustee, Read This!

Posted by Yuki Ku | Nov 09, 2023 | 0 Comments

Being asked to be a Trustee for someone's Trust is an honor, but it's a big responsibility. You have ethical and legal duties to fulfill, and you could face liability if you don't do it right.

Before you say yes, understand what it means to be a Trustee. Your role will vary depending on many factors like the estate's size, the types of assets, the Trust type, beneficiaries, and the Trust's terms. Review the Trust details carefully before deciding.

Remember, you can say no, but it might not be easy depending on who asked you. On the other hand, if you're up for it and know what's expected, it can be a rewarding role.

This article gives you a brief overview of Trustee responsibilities. If you're asked to be a Trustee, contact us for help evaluating if you can fulfill the duties or if you should politely decline.

A Trustee's Main Duties

Being a Trustee means you have specific jobs to do, like handling the Trust's assets, keeping track of them, and following the Trust's rules for giving money to the beneficiaries.

You're like a guardian of the Trust, and you must always act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. If you don't do your job properly, you could face legal trouble. That's why it's a good idea to have us review the Trust Agreement and explain your responsibilities before you agree to be a Trustee.

No matter what the Trust says or what it holds, some key Trustee duties include:

  1. Finding and collecting the Trust's assets.

  2. Doing what the Trust rules say about managing and giving out the assets.

  3. Hiring and overseeing an accounting firm to handle taxes.

  4. Staying in touch with the beneficiaries.

  5. Being honest, organized, and keeping detailed records of everything.

  6. Closing the Trust when the rules say to.

If you're asked to be a Trustee, make sure you understand these responsibilities before you say yes.

No Need to Be an Expert

Being a Trustee doesn't mean you have to be a financial or legal pro. You can get help from experts in those fields, and the Trust will cover their fees.

You won't be on your own, and you can even get paid for being a Trustee, though some family members may choose not to take extra payment if they can cover the Trust's expenses. How you're compensated depends on your situation, your relationship with the Trust's creator and beneficiaries, and the Trust's assets.

We're Here to Support You

Being a Trustee is a big deal, so meet with us, your Personal Family Lawyer®, to help you decide if it's the right choice. We'll give you an honest assessment of what you need to do based on the Trust's terms, assets, and beneficiaries.

If you decide to take on the role, having an experienced estate planning lawyer like us is crucial for proper Trust administration. We'll guide you every step of the way, making sure you follow the Trust creator's wishes without putting beneficiaries or yourself at risk.

Contact us today to learn more.

Let's Chat

This article is a service of Roots + Wings Legal, a Personal Family Lawyer® Firm. We don't just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session™, during which you will get more financially organized than you've ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session.

The content is sourced from Personal Family Lawyer® for use by Personal Family Lawyer® firms, a source believed to be providing accurate information. This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal, or investment advice. If you are seeking legal advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material.

About the Author

Yuki Ku

Yuki Ku Chief Attorney Roots and Wings Legal Get In Touch Welcome to Roots and Wings Legal, where we are committed to helping you secure your family's future and ensure a smooth transition for your business. My name is Yuki Ku, and I am an estate planning attorney based in the vibrant San F...


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