Estate Planning Law Firm in O’Fallon, MO
As legal professionals at our estate planning law firm in O’Fallon, MO the Legal Law Center, we tend to encourage our clients to name a professional fiduciary such as a trust company, trust lawyer, or financial institution to serve as the trustee of a revocable trust. Many choose to name a family member to serve in this capacity instead. What some of these people don’t realize is the significant responsibility that comes along with acting as a trustee. Failure to know what these fiduciary duties are can lead to an unexpected liability on the part of the trustee.
Anyone who wants more information about the role of a trustee, can contact an estate planning attorney in O’Fallon, MO today.
The Duties of a Trustee
As an attorney at our estate planning law firm in O’Fallon might explain to you, trustees must know what their duties are and conduct them in a proper manner. These duties include:
Creating Legal Documents
Even though a trust prevents the court from getting involved in the administration of assets, the trustee will be responsible for drafting and filing certain documents. For example, if the truste includes a property, and the current title names the deceased person, the trustee will need to update the title.
Affidavit of Successor Trustee
Affidavit of Successor Trustee (AST) is a legal document that can be created, signed, and filed by the trustee. It basically shows that the deceased is no longer alive, and is recorded in all counties where there is real property. The property remains under the trust, but the new records will name the trustees who will now have the ability to sell or transfer the property (unless otherwise stated in the trust).
The AST should be filed with any financial institutions associated with the trust as well. This will allow the trustee and heirs to access the accounts, manage investments, and use the funds to pay various expenses.
Act in the Benefit and Interest of Beneficiaries
In many cases, children will be named as the trustee, and also the beneficiary of a trust. It is important for the trustee to not overstep their authoritarian role. Rather, they should act in good faith at all times and in the best interest of all beneficiaries.
In a trust that provides an equal distribution of the trust, the trustee/beneficiary, cannot choose to move into the home or buy it from the trust without all beneficiaries agreeing to it in writing. An attorney at our MO estate planning law firm in O’Fallon can explain a considerable body of laws that define the roles, deuties, responsibilities, and expectations of a trustee who is also a named beneficiary.
Manage Financial Responsibilities
Prior to the distribution of the trust, the trustee and also their attorney from our Missouri estate planning law firm, should gain an understanding of their financial obligations in relation to the trust. For instance, if a mortgage or taxes needs to be paid, this should be done as soon as possible. To protect the trustee against any liability, he or she must notify creditors of the death. Creditors will have so many months to claim a debt before they are cut off.
To Explore Your Duties as a Trustee, Call a Trust Lawyer
These are only some of the duties a trustee will have. Before you name anyone to be your trustee, or prior to accepting the role, it may be in your best interest to talk to an attorney at our estate planning law firm in O’Fallon, MO the Legacy Law Center.