So You’ve Been Named the Trustee of a Trust…Now What?

Many of you who have been asked by a family member of close friend to serve as the trustee of a trust are honored that the trust owner feels confident in relying on their good judgment to undertake this important responsibility.  And it’s very likely you have no idea what you have just said yes to take on.

Being a trustee means that you are responsible for all oversight and direction of the assets of the Trust.  As a Trustee, you have what is known as a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of that trust.  There are laws you must abide by in administering the trust, in addition to the terms of the trust that set out your duties as trustee.

A trustee’s duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Administering the trust according to 
its terms
  • Communicating with beneficiaries 
about the various activities of the trust
  • Investing and managing trust assets 
in a prudent manner
  • Accounting for and paying any taxes 
or fees
  • Distributing assets to beneficiaries as 
outlined in the trust
  • Making an accounting of trust assets, 
liabilities, receipts and disbursements 
to beneficiaries.

As a Trustee, you may find yourself involved with the probate process at some point and have to go into Court to marshal assets. If some of the assets of the estate were not properly transferred into the trust, this process can be overwhelming, especially if you do not have prior experience in this area.

Thankfully, with a good lawyer on board, you do not have to navigate this process alone. Engaging experienced legal help is always the best option for trustees, with the trust being responsible for any fees incurred for legal services.

As a Personal Family Lawyer®, I can further advise you on all your options and make things as easy as possible for your family during a Family Wealth Planning Session.  If you would like to have a talk about estate planning for your family, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk.

To your family’s health, wealth and happiness!

David Feakes

P.S.  Want to get started on the most important planning you’ll ever do for your family?  Give our office a call at (978) 263-6900 to get started.  You’ll be so glad you did.

David Feakes is the owner of The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, PC – a law firm for families in the Acton, Massachusetts area.  David helps parents protect the people they love the most.  If you would like to receive David’s exclusive, free report, “Six Major Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing An Estate Planning Attorney,”  you can get it right here.

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At The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, we answer your questions at your convenience; we stay in frequent communication; and we meet to discuss changes in life circumstances and in the law to ensure that your assets are protected.

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