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Responsibilities of a Trustee

Your trustee manages the trust administration process on your behalf after you die. When selecting an individual to serve as your successor trustee, it is important to choose someone you can rely on to execute your wishes. Thus, the essence of a “trustee” is inherent in the name. It is their responsibility to notify creditors that you have passed away and respond to any of their claims, inventory your assets, apply for a new tax identification number for your trust, open an account in the name of the trust, locate and notify beneficiaries of your death, and liquidate your assets.

Once the process of liquidating assets and funneling them into the final account is complete and the notice to creditors has expired (it must be published for four months), the trustee prepares an accounting. This document includes an inventory of the trust assets at your death and shows the income and expenses incurred after your death. The trustee then cuts checks to your beneficiaries.

We generally recommend naming a single individual as your successor trustee. However, blended families sometimes choose to name two co-trustees to ensure that both sides of the family are represented in the trust administration process. Since acting co-trustees need to be on the same page, it is critical that any named co-trustees work together well and communicate effectively. Even with amiable co-trustees, managing the trust administration process can be challenging. It’s important to choose someone with excellent organizational and financial skills, or someone who is willing to hire help to accomplish your goals.

Whatever your trustee’s individual skills, our experienced team can support your trustee and help streamline the trust administration process.

Please contact The Law Offices of David L. Carrier, P.C. to assist with your planning or administration needs.

Call us at (616) 361-8400

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