When people set up trusts, they name trustees who will be responsible for administering the trust according to its terms. It is important for California trustees to understand their duties and to execute them correctly. Trustees who do not believe that they will be able to effectively fulfill their legally required duties on their own might want to consider getting professional help or stepping down so someone else can assume the role.
Trustees act as the managers of the assets that are held in the trusts. They are responsible for handling the assets and managing them to preserve the trusts. They are also responsible for filing trust tax documents and distributing the assets according to the trusts’ provisions.
Serving as a trustee is highly complex, and if the duties are not performed correctly, the trustees may be held to be personally liable for any resulting losses. It is important for people who are named as trustees to consider whether or not they will be able to handle the duties in an objective manner. They must identify all of the assets that are held in the trusts and make certain that the account documents are in order. They are also responsible for investing the trust assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries. Trustees must follow all of the trusts’ provisions and communicate regularly with the beneficiaries. They are responsible for tax returns and reports along with numerous other tasks.
Serving as a trustee can be very time-consuming and difficult. People who have been named as trustees and who are concerned about their ability to fulfill their duties might want to consult with attorneys who are experienced in trust administration and who can guide them through the process so that they avoid costly mistakes.