Naming a trustee for your estate should be done with considerable forethought, with a focus on who can perform the duties of a trustee carefully and completely. This will not always be someone who is a friend or family member. You should be aware of what a trustee’s duties entail before making your choice:
Fiduciary Duty – a trustee will be held to a very high standard when it comes to their fiduciary duty to your heirs, so be sure your choice is both responsive and responsible.
Investment Duty – a trustee is expected to make prudent investment decisions that take into account the best interests of both current and future heirs.
Distributions – if a trustee is given discretion in making trust distributions, they need to use good judgment when making those decisions. They must also be able to withstand family pressure and, when prudent, refuse distributions that are inconsistent with the trust terms or not in the best interest of the heirs.
Trust Terms – a trustee must understand the terms of the trust and follow them faithfully.
Accounting – a trustee is required to give an annual accounting of all income, distributions and expenditures of the trust to the heirs.
Taxes – a trustee is responsible for keeping excellent records and must file and pay taxes for the trust.
The Flanigan Law Group provides Southern California residents with personal attention for estate planning, administration and litigation legal services. When disputes between families, arise, they are very successful in resolving legal estate issues quickly and efficiently while preserving financial and emotional resources. Contact the Orange County Trustee & Fiduciary Responsibilities Lawyer at the Flanigan Law Group at 949-450-0041.