Serving as Trustee for a loved one is both an honor and a responsibility. Turn to your estate planning attorney for expert guidance. Here are answers to the questions we receive most frequently in our office.
1. Is there anyone to help me?
Yes. As a Trustee you can work with your estate planning attorney for Trust interpretation and guidance on all Trust and legal matters, CPA for bookkeeping and tax returns, and a financial advisor for investment guidance. You can even hire a corporate fiduciary such as a bank or trust company to do most of the Trustee work. The Trust pays for these professional services.
2. Will I be paid for this work?
Yes! All Trustees are entitled to reasonable compensation for their efforts. The Trust document should provide guidance.
3. Is there anything I need to know?
Yes. The process goes most smoothly if the creator of the Trust (Grantor) explains the Trust provisions. Sometimes, this is done through a meeting with the estate planning attorney. You need to have the contact information of the estate planning attorney and the Trust document. Everything runs more smoothly if you have a list of Trust assets, retirement benefits, insurance policies, and other legal documents.
4. What if the Grantor recovers?
If you are acting as Trustee during the Grantor’s incapacity, you will remain as Trustee until the Grantor recovers or dies. If the Grantor recovers, the Trust document provides guidance as to what happens. Typically, the Grantor regains control of the Trust as Trustee. You will serve as Co-Trustee or successor Trustee as directed by the Trust document.
Serving as Trustee is a big job. We understand the duties of a Trustee and can help you. Please feel free to call our office with any questions about serving as Trustee or naming a Trustee. 858-792-5988.