What Are the Responsibilities of a Trustee?


Quick Answer

A trustee's responsibility is to manage assets of a trust. A trustee is responsible for keeping accurate accounting and tax records, investing assets in a conservative manner, and not allowing the assets of the trust to mix with the personal assets of the trustee. Trustees must also treat the trust beneficiaries in the same, fair manner.

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Full Answer

A trustee's main duties are to preserve the trust and to make the trust assets or property productive; this involves investing and managing funds to produce income for the named beneficiaries of the trust.

The trustee acts on behalf of the beneficiaries' best interests, and he must balance the terms and priorities of the trust to benefit each beneficiary's interest fairly and equally.

The specific duties and responsibilities of a trustee are governed by the state in which the trust is located, as well as the powers outlined in the original trust agreement. A trustee has a duty to administer the trust according to the trust's terms. A trustee must follow the terms of the trust as it's written, but he should seek the advise of an attorney when the terms may seem ambiguous. A trustee must keep all of the terms of the trust confidential.

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