What Is the Role of a Trustee? | What You Should Know

It is important to learn about the role of a trustee before taking on its responsibilities. Continue reading and reach out to our skilled and dedicated Woodland Hills trust attorney today to learn more.

What is the role of a trustee?

As a trustee, you are legally accountable for managing the trust’s assets and distributions. Trustees are responsible for a variety of different legal duties, including:

  • Administering the trust by the terms of the document
  • Being reliable to the beneficiaries of the trust
  • Dealing with the beneficiaries impartially
  • Avoiding conflicts of interest between you and the trustor or beneficiaries
  • Legally separating and recognizing trust property
  • Carefully managing and investing the trust’s assets

As you can see from above, trustees have multiple roles. It is recognized that this authority is not an easy job, and because of this, trustees can be paid for their labor. Though, due to their responsibilities to beneficiaries, the trustee cannot overcompensate themselves.

What does a trustee do after death?

Once you become a trustee after a grantor’s death, your first duty is to identify and secure trust property and find the governing trust documents and take an inventory of each asset. Also, you will want to make sure that you have the power and access to all of the trust property.

Additionally, as a trustee, you are liable for creating the trust’s taxes and making a reliable investment approach. You may need to pay for inspections of land or other valuable assets to have a strong understanding of the extent of the trust’s assets.

Once those tasks are completed, you can begin distributing assets to beneficiaries as described in the trust.

What are the differences between a trustee and a beneficiary?

If you are the trustee for a revocable living trust, you are responsible for working in good faith on behalf of the beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are those with a role in the allocation of the trust’s assets. They can be recorded in the trust document or qualified under a category listed by the trust’s creator.

It is also essential to note that you can be both a trustee and a beneficiary of the identical trust. This kind of structure is expected in revocable family trusts, in instances where the grantor does not want an outsider managing assets. However, being both a trustee and beneficiary is not an easy task. Contact our skilled Woodland Hills, California estate planning attorney today to learn more.

Contact our Firm

Working with an experienced estate planning attorney, such as Jaci Feldman of the Woodland Hills, California, Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman, will ensure that you are taken care of when you need it most. Do not delay. Estate planning is a more urgent matter than you may think. You never know what the future holds. Contact The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman to schedule a consultation today.

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