Trustees have some important jobs to do. They also have to avoid making some costly mistakes that could cause legal problems and financial headaches. Our Rockland County attorneys have plenty of experience with trusts and estate planning, so here’s what trustees should know before they begin their jobs in earnest.

Should Trustees Get Professional Help?

The jobs of trustees are not easy. We do not recommend trying to handle everything on your own if you’ve been appointed to this important role. There are taxes to worry about, debts to settle, and properties to sell off or distribute. This means that there can be a variety of economic and legal repercussions for any move you make.

This is why you should consult professionals. Attorneys, financial advisors, and real estate agents can all help you manage any properties and assets available to you without making costly mistakes. You should also take the time to get professional advice so that you do not rush through this process. You have to do right by the beneficiaries here.

Do Trustees Need to Talk to Beneficiaries?

Properly managing the assets isn’t the only thing that trustees have to do for beneficiaries. It’s also the trustee’s job to keep lines of communication open with all of the beneficiaries. If a beneficiary believes that the trustee is not doing their job and they cannot get in touch with them, it shouldn’t be a surprise when they take legal action.

Do Trustees Need to Keep Records?

Record-keeping skills are a necessity for trustees. If you manage a trust you have to pay down debts and handle other obligations before any assets are distributed to beneficiaries. This means that you have to keep careful track of everything that goes out of the trust.

If you do not keep careful records and one of the beneficiaries asks for a trust accounting, that’s going to be a problem for you. You may end up in a situation where it is unclear where money went, and you do not want someone to make the assumption that you took it yourself.

What Happens if Properties Fall Into Disrepair?

Trustees are also responsible for keeping properties in good condition. If these are going to be sold, they should be taken care of so that the beneficiaries can receive the most possible profit. Letting a home or property fall into disrepair is not acceptable.

When properties are sold off, trustees should never rush the process. They need to properly evaluate the value of a property and take serious offers. Trying to sell something at a discount to a friend or family member is never a good idea.

Contact Our Law Firm

When you have questions about estate planning or trusts, talk to an experienced attorney. Just contact the Lauterbach Law Firm and ask to schedule a consultation. We are ready to put our knowledge and experience to work for you.