If trust administration goes awry, trustees may be responsible

One of the important steps of estate planning is appointing trusted people to important roles. For instance, California residents want to ensure that they choose responsible parties to act as executors and trustees. These parties are in charge of handling probate and trust administration, and if something is not handled correctly, the person in charge could face trouble.

First, utilizing a trust as part of an estate plan is a smart step. It can help better protect assets and allow the grantor to have more control over asset distribution after his or her passing. However, the trustee will be the person who manages those assets and follows the grantor’s instructions for distribution. If the trustee does not follow those instructions or otherwise violates the fiduciary duty of this role, he or she could be held legally responsible for any problems that arise.

Because the trustee does have such a great deal of responsibility, it is important that he or she is willing to take on the role. Some people do not have the time or desire to handle such important matters, and even if a grantor asks a person to take on the role, that person can decline. It is a personal choice, and the grantor always has the option of appointing someone else.

If individuals do take on the role of trustee, it is prudent that they fully understand what is expected of them. Gaining information on trustee duties and trust administration can help California residents learn more about their obligations. Of course, it is also wise to speak with knowledgeable attorneys who can provide assistance through such proceedings.

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