A trustee has the immense responsibility of overseeing and managing the assets held in a trust. Because of the complex nature of some types of trusts and the potential for issues with the beneficiaries of the trust, it is beneficial for one to have a clear understanding of the role of the trustee before committing to it. It is also useful for beneficiaries and other interested parties to have an understanding of what they can expect from the trustee as well.
A trustee has specific duties he or she must complete as part of the role of overseeing the trust. It takes a commitment of time, energy and capability to meet these demands, and the trustee may be personally liable for any mistakes or issues that arise during the distribution of assets, management of assets or meeting other requirements associated with the trust. Having reasonable expectations and a complete understanding of what a trustee does may help avoid problems and complications for all involved.
Expectations for a trustee
The specific responsibilities a trustee may have depend on the details of the individual situation, including the type of trust, the type of assets held within the trust and the goals of the trust. Generally, the role and responsibilities of the trustee may include the following:
- If applicable to the type of trust and directions left for the trustee, responsibly and effectively investing trust assets
- Administering the trust and distributing assets in the trust according to its specific terms
- Making smart decisions in situations that could arise regarding the provisions of the trust
- Communicating regularly with the beneficiaries of the trust, and acting in their interests
- Preparing tax returns, organizing documents and preparing records as required, as well as keeping all records on file
- Working to answer questions and address concerns brought by the beneficiaries of the trust
- Asking the right questions and having a thorough knowledge of the requirements before accepting the role of trustee
Whether you are a Nevada trustee and have questions or concerns about your role, or you are a beneficiary with concerns regarding the administration of a trust, you will benefit from learning more about what to expect from someone acting in this capacity. One of the most effective ways to avoid issues regarding trust administration is to first have reasonable expectations for the trustee.