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What are the responsibilities of a trustee?

Recently, trusts have become quite popular for most people. Unlike wills, they provide a more prominent degree of flexibility in estate structure, and they can save on probate fees and taxes. Usually, a trustee oversees and administers the trust and takes care of the trust’s assets. Thus, trustees hold a lot of power in controlling and managing the trust, but they have a fiduciary duty to the grantor and beneficiaries.

A trustee is meant to act in the best interests of the property under their administration. They must do so with the interests of the grantors or beneficiaries at heart.

What are a trustee’s duties?

Some of the essential duties of a trustee include:

  • Carrying out the trust as per its terms.
  • Exercise a reasonable degree of care and skill when administering the property under them.
  • A trustee must protect property or assets against anyone who seeks to claim trust assets or challenge the trust’s validity.
  • A duty to make the property trust productive and act sensibly when it comes to, say, investing or selling the trust property.
  • A trustee has a duty to separate trust property from personal property. 

What happens when a trustee breaches their fiduciary duties?

You can sue a trustee if they violate their fiduciary duties. This may happen when they fail to act prudently when dealing with the property under the trust. Some common reasons include wasting, stealing, or mismanaging trust assets. If you suspect that a trustee has failed you, it pays to take action quickly to best preserve your assets and your future.