My father recently told me that he appointed me successor trustee of his living trust. I’m honored. But, I don’t know what I’m getting myself into. What are the duties of a trustee?

Being appointed trustee is an honor. It shows that your father respects your loyalty and trustworthiness and that he believes you are capable of administering his trust.

While it’s important to make sure that you understand what sorts of duties and tasks you might need to perform, you should also know that many people elect to hire counsel to help them administer a trust. That way, the trustee gets valued legal advice and does not have to do as much leg-work as the person might otherwise be expected to perform.

A trustee’s duties will vary depending on several factors, such as the size of the trust, the state where the decedent lives, and the terms set out in the trust documents. In general, however, a trustee will be expected to:

  • Collect the documents and records necessary to administer the trust;
  • Collect any debts owed to the trust;
  • Pay any debts owed by the trust;
  • Consult with financial, tax, and legal advisors;
  • Manage trust assets;
  • Sell trust assets;
  • Keep accurate records;
  • Inform the beneficiaries of decisions and actions regarding the trust;
  • Ensure that applicable laws are followed;
  • Execute required documents to transfer property or to take other actions; and
  • Close the trust at the end of the administration.

Please contact our Anaheim estate planning attorneys for help with administering a trust.

If you are interested, our Anaheim estate planning lawyers will send you a complimentary DVD regarding California trust law basics. You may call us at  (714) 459-5481 or fill out an online contact form for more information.

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