What are some common duties of a trustee?

Any trust you create will need someone to administer it. If you are not the trustee, you will select another person to manage your trust. Since trustees carry out important duties, you should feel confident that your trustee choice will be up to the task.

Trusts vary by design, so whoever runs your trust should be able to handle your wishes. Still, there are some duties that just about any trustee will have to perform.

Comprehending your instructions

Though trusts can be simple or complex in their construction, any trust will have directions that your trustee should understand. Your trustee must know who your trust beneficiaries are and when and how to disperse payouts to them. If you give your trustee a lot of discretion, you should feel comfortable that your trustee will exercise the proper judgment in providing payouts.

Maintain records and file papers

Your trust will require a number of operating documents, including tax returns and transaction records. Your trustee should be capable of filing taxes and maintaining insurance on the trust property if necessary. Keeping financial records is also important as your beneficiaries may want to verify that the trust is operating correctly.

Communicate with trustees

A trustee has a fiduciary duty to beneficiaries, meaning the trustee must act in the best interests of those who benefit from the trust. If your beneficiaries suspect your trustee is mishandling the trust, litigation could ensue. Your trustee should update your beneficiaries about trust actions and send them any financial records they require.

Listing the prospective duties of your trustee is a good first step so you can discuss them with your potential trustee. This may help you select the right person to head your trust.



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