If you have a trust as part of your estate plan, then you will need to name a trustee. The trustee is the person who will manage the trust assets and ensure everything goes smoothly according to your wishes when you die.
However, SmartAsset explains the trustee’s duties do not stop there. The exact duties depend on the type of trust you create. For example, if you have a trust that will be in place for years after your death, then the trustee will have more fiduciary duties than if the trust will be complete shortly after your death.
Most of the time, the trustee will be responsible for paying taxes associated with the trust. He or she also must find the beneficiary and ensure he or she gets the assets as stipulated by the trust. The trustee may have to maintain the assets in the trust if needed until the beneficiary takes ownership.
It is also the responsibility of the trustee to safeguard trust assets. Sometimes, a trustee will have to invest, sell or otherwise transfer assets to maintain them.
Being a trustee is a very important job. When choosing someone to act in this role, it is essential that you trust the person and know he or she can handle the job duties. You need to be sure he or she is able to handle the fiduciary tasks and can understand the expectations of the job.
It is important that you know what a trustee does so that you can find the right person to take on the role. This is a critical decision that will impact how well your estate management occurs after your death.