If you have recently been appointed to serve as a Trustee of a family member’s Trust, then the first thing that you need to do is to learn what your duties are. Managing a Trust is not as simple as making sure that all of the assets of the Trust are in a savings account and available when the beneficiaries need them.
The first thing that you need to do is to read the Trust documentation and see what directions are given. The language is likely to be confusing, so you should go over the Trust with an attorney who can help you understand what everything means. If a Trust has any special directions, the Trustee has a duty to make sure they are fulfilled. You can not do that, if you do not know what the directions are.
Next, you need to manage the Trust assets as a reasonably prudent investor would. That means that you need to invest the assets using sound financial principles, which usually means that you need to do something more with them then save them in a bank account. Ask the attorney what the standards are in your area. Finally, you will need to distribute the Trust assets to the beneficiaries at the appropriate time according to the terms of the Trust.
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