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Heritage Tree LogoWhat Are Actions a Trustee Should Avoid?

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In estate planning terms, a trustee is an individual or firm you choose to hold or administer your property or assets within your established trust. As the grantor of a revocable trust, you may also serve as the trustee and then name a successor trustee when you, unfortunately, pass on. But with automatically forfeiting your ownership and authority in an irrevocable trust, you may assign a third party to serve as your trustee from the jump. Without further ado, continue reading to learn what actions a trustee should avoid taking and how one of the experienced Butler County trust attorneys at Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning, LLC can work to ensure your trust is not compromised.

What are the actions a trustee is allowed to take?

Generally speaking, your trustee is legally responsible for managing your established trust according to the exact terms you set out. In other words, every action they take must align with your best wishes. So, the last thing they want to do is to overstep the boundaries of their responsibilities.

With that being said, though, a trustee may be allowed to step out of line to make special requests. For one, a Pennsylvania trustee may take a fee from property or assets within your established trust. This may be to reasonably compensate them for the work they put into fulfilling this duty. The exact fee may be based on a percentage of your property or assets or a flat rate, depending on the complexity and size of your trust.

On the other hand, a trustee may petition the Pennsylvania probate court to change the terms of your trust when appropriate. An example of this is if your trust is outdated but could easily avoid higher tax rates if changes were made. However, this responsibility may be better suited for someone appointed as your trust protector.

What are the actions a trustee should avoid taking?

Now that you know the actions a trustee can and should take, you must understand what mistakes they can and should avoid. More specific examples read as follows:

  • Your trustee should not agree to take on this role without understanding what it fully requires of them.
  • Your trustee should not procrastinate on the duties they promised to uphold when the time comes.
  • Your trustee should not interact with beneficiaries without learning how to handle their emotions.
  • Your trustee should not avoid conversations with beneficiaries no matter how difficult they are.
  • Your trustee should not ignore beneficiaries’ rights no matter how combative they are.

There is no time like the present to appoint your trustee. So, at your earliest possible convenience, please get in touch with one of the skilled Butler County estate planning & probate attorneys at Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning, LLC.

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