The Overwhelmed Trustee
As trustee, you have certain fiduciary and legal duties that you may not have the time or knowledge to fulfill. We can help you in this capacity as successor trustee or co-trustee. Please contact us if you have any of these concerns:
- Have you been blamed for family conflict when doing what the trust agreement states and not what family members want?
- Do you have time to serve as trustee?
- Do you feel awkward accepting a fee for your time spent?
- Do you have the legal understanding to read, understand, interpret and administer the trust agreement?
- Do you understand the tax issues involved with the trust – both estate tax and income tax?
- Can you make impartial decisions?
- Do you feel there are conflicts of interest if you are also a beneficiary?
- Do you understand all of the fiduciary duties of a trustee?
Some trustee duties are mandated by statute, while others are created by your trust agreement. The following is a list of general trustee duties:
- Hold legal title to trust assets
- Impartial investment, management and distribution of trust property
- Balance interest of current beneficiaries and future beneficiaries
- Assure proper investment and management of trust assets (Prudent Investor Rule)
- Protect trust assets from creditors, ex-spouses, etc.
- Safekeeping of assets and ownership documents
- Distribute trust income and/or principal prudently and according to the Trust Agreement
- Make discretionary decisions regarding distributions to beneficiaries regarding health, support, special needs, addiction problems, etc.
- Loyalty to beneficiaries
- Legally understand and interpret trust agreement
- Resolve disputes between beneficiaries
- Account for trust assets, trust principal and income
- Keep detailed records and account to beneficiaries
- Prepare and file tax returns with the IRS and send appropriate tax documents to beneficiaries
- Maintain confidentiality of trust assets and beneficiaries
- Assist with any needed trust reformations
- Communicate with the beneficiaries regarding the trust estate
- Terminate the trust properly
Please contact us to help you or replace you in this fiduciary capacity. We can serve as trustee alone or as co-trustee with you.