Individuals who are trustees of a trust in Washington have a variety of legally required duties. If you are not familiar with the responsibilities, you may find them overwhelming at first. At Brothers & Henderson, P.S., we often help clients address the issues that arise related to trust administration.
According to Fidelity, trustees act as the legal owner of trust assets. They not only handle the assets held in trust, but they also file taxes and distribute the assets according to the trust terms. Below are some responsibilities for a trustee.
The first step is confirming that you understand the trust terms, know who the beneficiaries are and that past account records are in order. At this time, you also establish that the assets are under your control and safe. Going forward, preparing tax returns, statements and other records is your duty.
Depending on the trust, investing the assets may be part of the way assets are productive and preserved for the current and future beneficiaries. Decisions regarding the trust provisions are under your purview, including when and if heirs receive payments.
Carrying out the duties of a trustee is time-consuming and often complex. In some situations, you may be personally liable for the actions you take while completing those duties. There are times when acting as a trustee is unwise. Before accepting the role, consider family relationships. Can you take action in the best interest of the beneficiaries and make objective decisions?
An attorney experienced in providing services related to trusts can help you determine the best course of action. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.