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Heritage Tree LogoWhat Is the Purpose of a Trustee? | What You Should Know

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To learn more about the role of a trustee, continue reading and reach out to our skilled Butler County trust attorneys. Our legal team is on your side and is prepared to walk you through each step of the way. Give us a call today.

What are the duties of a trustee?

As a trustee, you are lawfully responsible for handling the trust’s assets and distributions.

The law holds trustees responsible for a number of legal duties, including the following:

  • Administering the trust by the terms of the document
  • Being reliable to the beneficiaries of the trust
  • Dealing with the beneficiaries impartially
  • Avoiding conflicts of interest between you and the trust or beneficiaries
  • Legally segregating and identifying trust property
  • Prudently managing and investing the trust’s assets

As you can see from above, trustees have many roles. Because it is not an easy job, in many cases, trustees can be paid for their labor. But, due to their obligations to beneficiaries, the trustee cannot overcompensate themselves.

What does a trustee do after death?

If you become a trustee after a grantor’s death, your first duty is to recognize and secure trust property and locate the governing trust documents and take an inventory of each asset. You will want to make sure that you have authority and admission to all of the trust property.

Furthermore, as a trustee, you are responsible for producing the trust’s taxes and creating a reliable investment approach. You may need to pay for inspections of land or other valuable assets to have a firm understanding of the extent of the trust’s assets.

After those tasks are finished, you can start allocating assets to beneficiaries as expressed in the trust.

What are the differences between a trustee and a beneficiary?

If you are the trustee for a revocable living trust, you are responsible for acting in good faith on behalf of the beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are those with a role in the distribution of the trust’s assets. They can be documented in the trust record or entitled under a category listed by the trust’s creator.

You should also note that you can be both a trustee and a beneficiary of the same trust. This type of structure is common in revocable family trusts, in instances where the grantor does not want an outsider managing assets. But, being both a trustee and beneficiary can be a hard task.


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