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Trustee Management And Disputes

Last updated on May 20, 2020

Trust administration is the practice of managing assets held within a trust. The person in charge of managing a trust is the trustee; this individual is designated by the trust maker or the creator of the trust and is held to the highest standards in the managing of the trust assets.

The trustee acts in a fiduciary capacity, which means they cannot place their own interests above the duties of the trustee, and the trustee may not profit from their position.

Responsibilities Entrusted In A Trustee

The particular duties entrusted in any one trustee will depend on the nature of the trust and the intentions of the creator. Some of the responsibilities of a trustee may include:

  • Securing and safeguarding assets such as rental properties
  • Contacting creditors
  • Paying debts
  • Providing accounting and reports to the beneficiaries
  • Remaining in compliance with tax laws
  • Making prudent investments (investments cannot be risky)
  • Ensuring that trust assets are productive
  • Setting limits on trust assets and sometimes saying “no”
  • Tracking all income – distributions from and expenditures by the trust

When There Is A Dispute Over A Trustee’s Actions

When an individual is appointed as the trustee of a trust, the trust creator has placed a great deal of trust and confidence in the trustee. However, trust administration is a significant responsibility that cannot be abused or neglected.

Regardless of the trustee’s functions, or what they delegate to professionals, the trustee is responsible for monitoring the conduct of these agents while keeping their own obligation to safeguard the beneficiaries’ interests. Whenever a trustee acts in their own interests, uses trust assets for their own benefit, misappropriates funds or loses trust assets to risky investments, the trustee has broken their fiduciary duty and can be held personally accountable for any harm done to the estate.

A trustee must exercise the highest degree of care, skill and caution in the execution of their duties. The trustee’s personal deficiencies will not reduce the amount of skill required when it comes to exercising the same level of caution that any reasonably prudent person would exercise when dealing with their own property.

Aggressive Legal Representation: You Can Count On

Whether you are a trustee facing litigation or if you are a beneficiary who believes that a trustee has breached their fiduciary duty, an attorney from Cooper & Cooper Law Offices, PLLC, can provide you with the aggressive legal representation you need during this time. Contact us today for a consultation at 270-561-6155.