Ten Obligations as Successor Trustee During a Trust Administration

During your loved one’s lifetime, your duties as successor trustee are essentially non-existent. You do not step into the position of trustee until your loved one passes away, becomes incapacitated, or resigns from his or her role. Once that happens, however, the responsibilities that you must assume are numerous.

Know Your Duties as Successor Trustee of a Trust

In order to ensure that you carry out the trust administration properly, it is important that you understand your obligations as a successor trustee. The following is a general overview:

  1. You generally will assume all of the same duties and responsibilities as the original trustee.
  2. You must locate all of the assets and ensure that they are under the control of the trustee.
  3. You must notify banks and other financial institutions of the change in trustee.
  4. You must notify the beneficiaries of the change in trustee.
  5. You must take care of the assets of the trust in order to protect them.
  6. You must look out for the best interests of the beneficiaries as a whole.
  7. You must refrain from taking actions as trustee that benefit you as an individual.
  8. You must keep accurate records of the trust assets.
  9. You must file all of the proper tax returns relating to the trust.
  10. You must invest the trust assets in a reasonably prudent manner.

While these responsibilities may seem overwhelming, the good news is that as successor trustee, you are entitled to seek guidance from experienced professionals. This may include attorneys, accountants, and financial advisors. We would be pleased to assist in the event that you are ready to begin the administration of your loved one’s trust, just as we have helped many other clients. Read about their experiences on our client testimonials page today.

 

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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