If you have been asked to be the trustee for someone’s trust, you will want to carefully consider the responsibilities and expense involved before agreeing to take on this job. Most people look at this as a great honor and it is. However, it is also a great responsibility, as well as a job that can become very tedious.
For one thing, when you are appointed as trustee to someone’s trust, everything that you do could be scrutinized at some point in the future. Even if you are acting in good faith, there is the possibility that you could be blamed for something that happens due to circumstances beyond your control.
One example would be if you were to invest money from the trust, believing that it was a good investment. In the event that your investment loses money, the beneficiaries of the trust could hold you responsible and bring legal action against you. Though it will probably be found that you acted in good faith, it will still be a considerable inconvenience and expense.
If you are completely aware of what your duties are as a trustee, you will better understand what you are getting yourself into when you agree to become the trustee of someone’s trust.
A trustee’s duties include management of the trust, and distributing funds from the trust according to the trust’s outline. Another responsibility of the trustee may also be to invest the assets of the trust. Being a trustee for someone’s trust is a real job that will involve a lot of work and time, as well as commitment. If you do not feel that you can give the job the kind of commitment that is needed, you will want to reconsider accepting this responsibility.
If you have any questions about what would be involved in accepting the appointment of trustee, it is a good idea to contact an estate planning attorney for advice.