Answering Questions Regarding the Administration of Trusts
At The Law Office of Araceli Tovar, APC, I work with many families who have questions dealing with the administration of trusts. This can be a very complicated issue, and I want to take a few moments to address some of the most frequent questions that I receive from my clients. I invite you to schedule a consultation to learn more about the specifics of your case.
What are the duties of a trustee?
A: The trustee is someone named by the settlor/trustor to carry out the specific directions listed in the trust. The trust is the controlling document, and will carefully describe the assets included in the trust, as well as the distribution of those assets to those individuals named in the trust. Trustees must also provide an accurate accounting of all trust assets.
Can anyone serve as a trustee?
A: Yes. When an estate plan is created, an individual may appoint anyone they desire to administer the trust when they pass away. The person they select should be someone who is able to carry out the specific objectives detailed in the trust. In most circumstances, trustees should consult an experienced attorney once they start performing their responsibilities.
What happens if I have questions or concerns regarding the administration of trust assets?
A: If you are a beneficiary of the trust and you feel that a trustee is abusing his or her power, you do have the right to review the actions of the trustee. You can check and make sure that all assets are appropriately accounted for, and any issues or signs of potential misuse of assets can potentially lead to claims against the trustee.
Is the trustee responsible for any misuse of trust assets?
A: Trustees need to know that they may be personally responsible if the rules of the trust are not followed correctly. Any deviation from the trust instructions or incorrect distribution of assets could be red flags that cause serious problems for the trustee, leading to complicated issues that can be costly to resolve.