A trustee is appointed to handle the administration of a trust either while the creator of the trust is still alive, during the time the creator of the trust is incapacitated, or after the trust owner passes away.
There are many different scenarios that determine when a trustee must act and there are rules in place governing the responsibilities of this trustee.
A fiduciary relationship refers to the legal responsibility of taking actions in the best interests of another person. In the example of a trustee, this would be making sure that the actions taken by them reflect the terms of the trust and the best interests of the beneficiaries. In a trustee-beneficiary relationship, the trustee has legal responsibility over the property and controls all assets held in the trust.
The trustee, therefore, must make decisions that are in the best interests of the beneficiaries of those assets, since the beneficiaries hold equitable title to the property. This is an extremely important relationship to carry out and it is important that the trustee and the beneficiary be able to communicate effectively with one another.
When you are creating your own estate plan and establishing a trustee, it is extremely important to think carefully about who you name as trustee because they will be responsible for managing these assets and communicating with beneficiaries. Do not wait to consult with a dedicated and qualified estate planning attorney to create your own plan.
We’ve worked with many residents of Pasadena to help them create goals for the future and then to incorporate those into a comprehensive estate plan. Set up a meeting with our office to learn more about how we can help you.