What Does a Trustee Do?
Once you create a trust, you need to assign a trustee who will manage the trust and the assets contained within it when you are unable to do so yourself. Anyone you name to the position of trustee will have significant authority over those assets. You should trust this person to handle your assets responsibly and according to your wishes.
The following is a brief overview of the typical duties of a trustee:
- Dealing with the numbers: Any trustee you name will need some basic accounting skills, as he or she will track track income and losses from investments, correspond with banks and financial institutions, prepare periodic financial reports for beneficiaries and file tax returns.
- Managing the trust: Trustees must administer trusts to the best of their abilities and in the best interests of the beneficiaries. Thus, any trustee you choose should be loyal and reliable. Their responsibilities for managing your trust could begin during your lifetime if you become incapacitated.
- Distributing trust assets: Trustees are responsible for distributing trust assets, whether it is at the time of your death or at some specified point afterward.
Keep in mind that trust beneficiaries may seek to have a trustee removed if they feel the trust is not being handled properly. Therefore, you should be sure to pick someone who you know is up to the task and will do an excellent job.
For further guidance on choosing a trustee for your trust, consult a dedicated Tampa estate planning lawyer with BaumannKangas Estate Law.