What are the responsibilities of a trustee in PA?

man looking at documents

Being named the trustee of a trust fund can be an honor for many, as it shows the creator holds you in high regard. However, if you’re unfamiliar with what this actually entails, it’s critical to familiarize yourself with these matters. The following blog explores the responsibilities a trustee must handle and why connecting with PA trust attorneys for assistance is critical.

What responsibilities must a trustee handle?

If you are the trustee of a fund, you will have many responsibilities from the moment the trust goes into effect. As such, the first thing you must do is fully understand the terms and conditions of the trust. This includes the assets that are not under your control and the beneficiaries named.

You’ll likely need to make investments in the best interest of the trusts. Similarly, you will need to make important decisions at your discretion if the terms of the trust indicate that.

One of the primary responsibilities is ensuring that you distribute the assets held in the trust to beneficiaries according to the conditions of the trust. You must also maintain regular communication with the beneficiaries of the trust.

Finally, you’ll need to ensure you prepare the necessary documents, like tax returns, on behalf of the trust. In addition, you must keep a detailed record of the decisions you make in case any questions or concerns arise.

If I need help, what should I do?

It’s critical to understand that if you are named the trustee of a trust fund, you are held to what’s known as fiduciary duty. Essentially, this is a legal standard that those acting on behalf of others must follow. This holds you to the standard that while acting as the trustee, you will follow the terms and conditions of the trust and act in the best interest of the fund and its beneficiaries. If you do not, you can be held personally liable.

You should also know that if you are overwhelmed by the responsibilities of being a trustee, you can decline the role. Life is unpredictable and a lot can happen between the time the creator names you and when the trust takes effect. For example, you may be too busy, move, or suffer from health issues that prevent you from assuming the role.

However, if you want to take on the role to the best of your abilities, you should consider connecting with an experienced attorney to explore your legal options. If you need assistance at any point during this process, the team at Friedman Schuman can help. We understand how overwhelming these matters can be, which is why we’re ready to help you. Connect with us today to learn more.

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