Establishing a Trust—What is the Role of the Trustee

Acting in the role of a trustee is not an easy position. The specific powers and responsibilities depend on the instructions in your trust documents. Although important, the prudent investment of trust assets is not a trustee’s only responsibility. Generally, a trustee will have the following duties:

    • Invest the trust assets
    • Hold trust property
    • Distribute trust income and/or principal to the named beneficiaries, as
      Described in the trust agreement
    • Make tax decisions concerning the trust
    • Maintain records of all transactions
    • Provide statements of account and tax reports to the trust beneficiaries
    • Answer any questions of the beneficiaries concerning the trust

The role of the trustee may be broad or have limited powers. The trustee is a fiduciary and must follow a strict standard of care when performing trust functions.

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