What Role Do Trustees Play in the Estate Planning Process?

naming trustees

Creating your estate plan is something that many people put off until it’s too late. This makes it all the more essential to establish a trust and will as soon as possible. However, when you decide to create a trust, you’ll need to name a trustee. If you’re ready to set up your trust and name a trustee, you’ll need to contact a Putnam County trusts attorney in order to ensure that this process goes as smoothly as possible. Keep reading to learn more about what you should know about trustees.

What Are the Responsibilities of Trustees?

When it comes to the responsibilities of a trustee, understanding what their obligations are is essential to helping you pick the best option for the role.

One of the most essential responsibilities of a trustee is to manage the assets placed in the trust by the creator, also called the grantor. They are granted legal ownership of these assets and must supervise them until they are distributed. This includes painting a property or paying taxes.

Similarly, the trustee must also facilitate conversation with the beneficiaries and distribute the assets according to the terms outlined in the will. For example, if the beneficiaries must graduate college or reach 30 before they inherit the assets, the trustee must distribute the assets when those guidelines are met.

Who Can Assume the Role?

In general, anyone can assume the role of a trustee. However, they must be a legal adult, of sound mind, and a United States citizen. Assuming someone meets those guidelines, they can be named as your trustee. However, you should ensure they are responsible enough to fulfill their obligations.

There are two standard options when choosing. The first choice for many is friends and family. This includes adult children, cousins, siblings, and close family friends. While this is an ideal option as it ensures your trust is in the hands of someone you know personally, it can cause tension and issues in the family dynamic.

The other popular choice is naming an outside third party as trustees. For many, this is a financial institution like a bank, or an attorney. While this option can e expensive, it offers an unbiased outside source.

Can an Attorney Help?

If you are ready to create a trust, ensuring you enlist the help of a lawyer is essential. Unfortunately, trusts can be complex and nuanced documents. There are many websites that claim they can create a trust in a matter of minutes, but there are many mistakes someone unfamiliar with the law can make when trying to establish this estate plan.

At the Law Office of Andres D. Gil, we have the necessary experience to set up your trust, no matter how complex it is. Contact us today to learn how we can help you navigate this process.

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