Trusts can be kind of difficult to understand, but if you break it all down, a trust is a legal entity that is established by a person, who would be called the "grantor" or "trustor" depending on where you are located, for the benefit of others or the beneficiaries. The trust is then controlled by a third person called the "trustee."
In most cases, the person who creates a living trust, will name themselves as the trustee of the trust. That way, they can continue to manage his or her affairs until they are no longer able to, or until death. At which time a successor trustee will take over.
Let's take a look at a few of the "jobs" of a trustee:
Duty of loyalty to beneficiaries.
The trustee has the responsibility to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries, and they must properly administer trust assets.
Duty to keep accurate records.
A trustee needs to keep the trust property separate from their own property and must keep all records of the administration, accurate.
Duty to act prudently.
The trustee at all times must exercise reasonable skill, care, and caution in administering the trust.
Duty to enforce and defend claims.
The Trustee is responsible for enforcing any claims the trust may have, and for defending against any claims brought by anyone against the trust.
Duty to inform and account.
The trustee must provide annual accountings and meet certain statutory deadlines for giving notice of trust acceptance and for informing beneficiaries of their rights regarding the trust.
There are many more responsibilities of a trustee, but as stated above, these are a few of the top duties.
At Ashmore and Ashmore, we expertly guide individuals through the complex probate process, and capably handle all aspects of the creation, administration, and settlement of trusts as well.
Please reach out to our offices in Rockwall or Terrell with any questions you may have about getting this process started! www.ashmorelawfirm.com