Why Was I Asked to Be the Trustee of a Trust?

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You may have thought that a professional or corporation typically serves as the trustee of a trust. However, it is equally common for a grantor to ask their close family member or friend to step into this position. Continue reading to learn why you might have been asked to serve as a trustee and how an experienced Putnam County trusts attorney at the Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC can help you decide whether you should accept or deny this proposal.

Why was I asked to be the trustee of my loved one’s trust?

First of all, your loved one may establish a trust to distribute their assets to their desired beneficiaries without making them deal with the New York State surrogate’s court. In doing so, they must surrender their legal rights over the assets they place in the trust. Then, they must appoint a trustee to take on this ownership responsibility. So when your loved one asks you, out of everyone, to serve as the trustee of their trust, you may ask yourself, “Why”?

Well, your loved one may consider you a good “middleman” between them and their beneficiaries. In other words, your close relationship with both parties may incentivize you to perform your expected duty to the best of your ability. Namely, your expected duty is your fiduciary duty, in which you must act in the beneficiaries’ best interests. This may mean strategically investing the trust’s assets on the beneficiaries’ behalves, openly communicating with them through the execution process, and fairly distributing their shares of the trust’s assets.

Why should I accept or deny this proposition?

Deciding whether or not to accept this trusteeship should not be taken lightly. This is because, if the time comes and you are unable or unwilling to fulfill your duties, a beneficiary or a third party may file a claim against you and/or the trust. At the very least, you may let down your loved one who had faith in your ability to execute the trust in the way they wished and intended. With all that being said, it is strongly encouraged that you ask yourself the following questions before accepting or denying a grantor’s proposition:

  • Do I have enough estate planning literacy to navigate the laws that apply to the trust?
  • Do I have enough financial literacy to navigate the financial dealings involved in the trust?
  • Do I believe my integrity and ethicality will align with a grantor’s orders within the trust?
  • Do I have a sufficient mental capacity to handle my own affairs, let alone take on that of a grantor?
  • Do I have enough time and attention to take away from my personal life to commit to my expected duties?

You may rest easier knowing that a skilled Putnam County estate planning attorney can be the support system you need during this complicated time. So please call us at the Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC today.

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