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What are the responsibilities of a trustee for someone's estate?

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The responsibilities of an estate trustee include obtaining death certificates and notifying beneficiaries and creditors of the passing of the deceased, protecting the assets of the estate, and distributing the assets as outlined in the trust or will, explains Nolo. The trustee must know the ethical rules regarding his duties, such as not mingling the estates assets with the trustees and maintaining proper records, Estate Planning explains.

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Full Answer

A trustee must follow certain ethical rules as part of his job as trustee of an estate. These rules include the prohibiting of a trustee mingling his assets with the trust's, and separate checking and investment accounts must be maintained, states Estate Planning. Unless the trust or estate specifically authorizes, a trustee cannot use the trust assets for his own benefit.

A trustee must treat all beneficiaries the same and cannot favor one over the rest, unless the will or trusts specifically state to do so, according to Estate Planning. The trust assets must be conservatively invested to result in a decent growth and minimizing the risk. A trustee is also responsible for maintaining accurate, up-to-date records. Reports must be filed to the beneficiaries, with timely tax returns filed with the state and government taxing authorities.

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