Many people come to realize that a trust should be a big part of their estate plan. Some use it as the primary method of distributing assets upon their death, while others find that it’s the perfect secondary tool.
Regardless of the approach that you take, it’s important to understand the finer details of creating a trust. More specifically, the steps that take place after your passing.
No matter why you’re creating a trust, it’s critical that you name a trustee. Without this, you don’t really have a trust in the first place.
In short, this person is responsible for carrying out the terms and conditions of the trust. So, with a variety of responsibilities, it’s critical that you make the right decision. Here are some of the duties that your trustee will tackle:
- Reviewing the terms of the trust
- Ensuring that they understand the terms
- Distributing assets as outlined by the terms of the trust
- Managing trust assets as necessary
- Resolving conflicts, such as those between family members
- Communicating with all beneficiaries in an efficient and effective manner
- Ensuring that all taxes are paid at the appropriate time
- Keeping records associated with the trust (which also limits the potential for personal liability)
- Making key decisions related to the trust
As you can see, naming a trustee is no easy task. With so many duties – many of which we didn’t even outline above – this person will have a lot on their plate. They must be up to the task, or they could end up making a mistake that causes serious harm.
Tip: don’t name a person as trustee until you first speak with them about your intentions. They shouldn’t be surprised upon your death.
If you have questions or concerns about creating a trust and/or choosing a trustee, you’re in the right place. We can help you with all aspects of the process, as to ensure that you’re on the right path at all times.