Trust administration refers to the execution and fulfillment of the terms of the trust by the trustee or trustees. It can be a complicated process and includes notifying beneficiaries, marshaling assets, settling debts and liabilities, transferring property titles, possibly filing federal estate tax returns, funding sub-trusts, and carrying out a variety of legal duties and obligations.
Trustees are subject to myriad legal duties, including:
- the duty to administer the trust according to its terms;
- the duty of loyalty to the beneficiaries;
- the duty to deal impartially with beneficiaries;
- the duty to avoid conflicts of interest;
- the duty to make trust property productive;
- the duty to take control of and preserve trust property;
- the duty to report to beneficaries;
- and more.
Non-professional trustees are generally not aware of the legal duties that come with being appointed trustee of a trust. Because this area of law is so complex, and because of the potential for personal liability of a trustee if certain duties are not carried out, it is wise to consult with an attorney if you have been appointed trustee of a trust. The attorneys at Vaught & Boutris would be happy to speak with you further if you have been appointed trustee of a trust.