Trusts are one of the best ways to protect assets after one’s death. All trusts must have an appointed trustee, and there are many important duties that go along with being a trustee. If a trustee fails to adhere to these legally binding responsibilities, he or she can find himself or herself in serious legal and financial trouble without the help of an experienced trustee attorney.
While being asked to be a trustee can seem daunting, the most common duties of a trustee can be broken down into several parts. First, trustees are expected to familiarize themselves with the trust. Trustees must make sure trust property and assets are vested according to the terms in the trust and must act without charging any fess except where expressly allowed. Importantly, trustees must never allow their own funds to become comingled with monies in the trust, and they must never personally enter into any transaction with the trust. In the general management of the trust, trustees must always act in good faith. Trustees should act solely in the interest of the trust beneficiaries and manage the trust in a prudent manner.
In addition to these responsibilities, there are a number of other duties trustees must fulfill. Trustees have to keep accurate records and file annual tax documents. These tax documents can be incredibly complicated, and without the help of an experienced attorney a trustee could find himself or herself running afoul of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Additional responsibilities apply to trustees once the grantor passes away. Trustees will be responsible for the administration of assets and property in the trust per the trust’s instructions. You may need to collect assets like life insurance policies and assess whether or not there are any debts to pay. This process is long and complicated, and trustees will often need some help.
A Houston Trustee Attorney Can Help
Being appointed a trustee is an honor, but it is also a responsibility. Working with a lawyer is the best way to ensure all your duties are fulfilled and the grantor’s wishes are followed. The Houston trust attorneys at Hensley Krueger LLP can help you handle your trust administration duties to ensure you are adhering to the grantor’s wishes and following the law. Call us today to schedule a consultation to talk about your situation.