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You may be honored that your loved one has thought of you when appointing a trustee for their trust. With this, you may not want to let them down in any capacity and fulfill the responsibilities they expect of you effectively. Read on to discover the characteristics that may make you eligible to become a trustee and how a seasoned Broward County trust lawyer at The Probate Lawyers can work to ensure you are ready to step into this role.

What characteristics make me eligible to become a trustee?

New York estate law holds that you, as a trustee, must exude two key characteristics: a legal capacity and the ability to fulfill a fiduciary duty. A legal capacity means you must be a competent adult of sound mind and with the capability to manage your own affairs. Then, a fiduciary duty means you are willing to act in the best interest of the trust’s beneficiaries when the time comes.

With that being said, you may want to confirm that you have the skills and knowledge needed to exude these key characteristics. That is, can you see yourself faithfully abiding by the trust’s terms and conditions as set out by a grantor? Can you see yourself effectively filing trust taxes, keeping detailed trust records, and overall handling the trust’s financial affairs? Can you see yourself productively getting along with the trust’s beneficiaries and supporting them during this difficult time? These are all questions to ask yourself before you let a grantor enlist you as their trustee.

What happens after I am appointed to serve as a trustee?

After careful consideration, you may happily agree to your loved one’s appointment to have you serve as their trustee. Your responsibilities may commence soon after you accept this trusteeship. This is because a grantor essentially forfeits their ownership over assets once they transfer them into the trust. Then, you may assume legal ownership over them. With this, you may be expected to take the following steps straightway:

  • You must manage the sale of real property if applicable.
  • You must keep track of what taxes on the trust are due and file/pay for them accordingly.
  • You must litigate on behalf of the trust if a claim by a beneficiary or third party is to ever arise.
  • You must strategically invest the trust’s assets while keeping the beneficiaries’ best interests in mind.
  • You must make asset distributions to beneficiaries at the amount and frequency instructed by a grantor.
  • You must walk the fine line of keeping certain information confidential whilst keeping the beneficiaries informed.

You may rest easier knowing that a competent Broward County estate lawyer can be the support system you need during this complicated time. So please call us at The Probate Lawyers today.