person managing finances

When you are selected as a trustee, you’re getting handed an important job. You are going to be in charge of a trust, usually one set up by someone else who has faith that you will administer the trust with care. If you have any questions about how this works, some advice from a Washtenaw County trusts attorney might be helpful.

What is a Trustee?

A trustee is the person who is put in charge of the trust. They must manage it and do their best to do right by the beneficiaries of that trust. If they are not taking their responsibilities seriously, then they can be removed from the position.

What Does a Trustee Have to Do?

The trustee has to track all of the expenses and income generated by the trust. They also need to keep beneficiaries informed and disperse funds to them. There can be different rules about when a beneficiary can ask for funds and how much they receive, and a trustee has to follow them and do their best to ensure that the deceased trustor’s wishes are followed.

A trustee can also be responsible for:

  • Tax obligations related to the trust
  • Keeping records of all transactions
  • Investing assets and growing the trust

Who Can Be a Trustee?

Anyone who is 18 years of age or older can be a trustee, as long as they also have a sound mind. People usually pick someone who they see as responsible and organized. These qualities can help someone be an effective trustee.

Some trustors make themselves the trustee, at least for a little while. If you go this route and manage your trust while you are alive, you should also remember to establish a successor who can handle the affairs of the trust once you are gone.

Does a Trustee Get Paid?

Being a trustee can be a lot of work, so state law does actually recommend that people get paid for administering a trust. No fixed rate is established at the federal or state level though. Instead, trustees are owed “reasonable compensation” for their services. What is considered reasonable can vary based on the size of the trust, the obligations of the trustee, and how complex the trust is.

Can a Lawyer Help Me Set Up a Trust?

We recommend going to a lawyer with your estate planning needs. An experienced attorney can make it easy to set up a trust. They can tell you more about your different options and ensure that you find an arrangement that works for you, your assets, and your beneficiaries. We take the time with all of our clients to find an individualized plan that will give you peace of mind.

Schedule a Meeting With Our Team

When you want to learn more about trusts or estate planning, schedule a consultation with our team. Contact Collis, Griffor & Hendra today and learn how we can help you make the most out of popular estate planning tools like trusts.

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