When you create a revocable living trust, you will be able to manage and access the trust property until you pass away or become incapacitated. Then, a person you designated will need to take over the management role as your successor trustee. This trustee will have numerous duties and must conduct these duties while maintaining a high standard of care – called a fiduciary duty – to the beneficiaries of the trust.
Some of a trustee’s duties might include:
- Taking inventory of the trust property
- Notifying beneficiaries of the death of the trust creator
- Making prudent investment decisions
- Paying necessary bills
- Filing tax returns
- Settling creditor claims
- Distributing the trust property as the trust document instructs
All of this must be accomplished without bias in favor of certain beneficiaries or self-serving conduct.
When you are considering who should be your trustee, you should evaluate many factors, such as:
- Who has the time and willingness to properly conduct all necessary duties?
- Who has the financial knowledge to invest and manage the trust property?
- Can you rely on the person to act in the interests of all beneficiaries fairly?
Some people assume they should select an adult child, though this is not always the right choice. Young adults might not be financially responsible or knowledgeable about everything that is expected of them. You should discuss your best options with your trust attorney who can provide advice regarding trustee duties and whether you might consider a professional trustee.
Contact a Trusts Lawyer in Illinois to Learn More
The law firm of Charles T. Newland helps clients create trusts as part of a comprehensive estate plan. If you are wondering whether a trust is right for your situation, please feel free to call 847.797.9300 or contact us online to set up a consultation with an Illinois trusts attorney.