We hear this—or a close variation—all the time:
“My mother appointed me to serve as the successor trustee of her living trust. I just realized all the duties and responsibilities that come with this position. I don’t know if I have what it takes to do this job when she passes away.”
First of all, you are right to be looking into this issue right now. If you decide that you are unable or unwilling to serve as trustee, your mother still has time to appoint another successor trustee. But, on another note, your mother obviously trusts you to perform as trustee. If she didn’t, she wouldn’t have appointed you!
While a list of a trustee’s duties may appear long and intimidating, with a lawyer’s support and guidance, you should be able to perform the role with confidence.
As trustee, however, you should possess a few personal qualities:
- First, you should be fair. You will need to be fair in the treatment of multiple trust beneficiaries to protect each person’s interests.
- Second, you should be trustworthy. You may be responsible for cash and other property. The beneficiaries will need to know they can trust you to make appropriate decisions regarding the trust’s assets.
If you feel one or more of the beneficiaries might question your loyalty or trustworthiness, you may want to discuss your concerns with your mother.
Contact our Anaheim trust lawyers at (714) 459-5481 or fill out an online contact form if you would like to speak to us about administering a trust.