When your friend or loved one initially asked you to serve as the successor trustee of a living trust, you may have accepted the appointment without much thought. Now that you are being called upon to serve in this capacity, however, it is vital that you seek out the assistance of an experienced trust administration attorney. The duties of a successor trustee in Anaheim are numerous. Failing to properly fulfill those duties can expose you to substantial liability. Fortunately, having an attorney in your corner can help to minimize this risk.

Why should an Anaheim successor trustee consider hiring an attorney to help administer a trust? The following are just seven of the many reasons why this is a wise decision:

  1. Trustees must ensure that all tax returns are filed properly and on time. This includes estate tax returns, estate income tax returns, and trust income tax returns. Failing to pay taxes owed or file returns can result in costly fines.
  2. Trustees must be familiar with the trust laws in California.
  3. The trustee has an obligation to invest the assets of the trust prudently. If he does not, the beneficiaries can sue him for damages.
  4. The trustee owes a fiduciary duty to each of the beneficiaries. 
  5. Trustees must provide periodic accountings to each of the beneficiaries as to how the income and expenses of the trust are spent. Procedurally, this should be done in a certain manner to meet legal standards. Failing to handle the accounting properly could result in potential liability.
  6. Trustees must be mindful of present and future beneficiaries as they carry out their duties, and failing to do so can result in liability.
  7. Trustees have a duty to furnish certain information to the beneficiaries. Failing to do so can expose the trustee to liability.

For more information about the duties of a trustee during a trust administration, contact the Law Office of James F. Roberts & Associates, APC, today. Call our office of experienced Anaheim trust administration attorneys at (714) 459-5481 for a consultation.

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm
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