What Should I Know About a Trustee?

Book An Initial Call Now
POSTED ON: November 16, 2023

WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT A TRUSTEE? Motley Fool’s recent article, “What Is a Trustee?” explains that a trust is a legal arrangement created to hold and manage assets on behalf of someone else, known as the beneficiary. The trustee is the person or entity responsible for managing trust assets.

Nearly anyone can be appointed as trustee for a trust, and those who establish a revocable living trust -- the most common type of trust because it can be amended as long as the donor is living and able to make sound decisions -- frequently appoint themselves as trustee. They will also name a successor trustee who assumes responsibility for managing trust property when the donor dies or becomes incapacitated.


A trustee becomes responsible for managing the trust assets according to the instructions in the trust document. Trustees have a fiduciary role, which means they must act in the best interests of the trust’s beneficiaries. Some common responsibilities of trustees include:

  • Understanding the instructions of the trust and the intentions of the trust creator
  • Making required distributions, as well as those allowed at the trustee’s discretion
  • Choosing wise investments
  • Periodically updating beneficiaries and providing them with financial statements and tax documents
  • Maintaining detailed and accurate records of trust assets, including income, expenses and any transactions
  • Filing tax returns on behalf of the trust
  • Maintaining proper insurance on trust property
  • Seeking outside expertise, such as an experienced estate planning attorney, when necessary

A trustee is a fiduciary, so they’re prohibited from putting their own interests ahead of those of the trust’s beneficiaries. They must avoid conflicts of interest by keeping trust property separate from their personal property.

Schedule your phone meeting: THE LAW OFFICES OF CLAUDE S. SMITH, III


Reference: Motley Fool (May 2, 2023) “What Is a Trustee?”

Let Us Help You Through This

Reach Out Now

What Sets Us Apart
We understand this process can be difficult. We ease you through it with your best interest in mind.

Legal problems are extremely stressful, especially when your family, your health, or your freedom are at stake. At this point in time, you may not even be sure what kinds of questions you need to ask a lawyer, but that’s entirely normal. Whether your situation involves family law, estate planning, elder law, a criminal charge, or a personal injury, we will start by giving you all the information you need.

The way we see it, you deserve to get this information directly from an expert. That’s why we make it easy for you to get in touch with your lawyer, and we never ask you to sit down with a paralegal or assistant instead.

As our relationship continues, we will keep you updated about the status of your case every step of the way. Your lawyer will reach out regularly to tell you about any new developments, and he will also be happy to answer any questions you have throughout the process.

Join Our eNewsletter

Stay informed and updated by subscribing to our eNewsletter!
Subscribe Now!
Law Offices of Claude S. Smith, III

805 Bigley Avenue
Charleston, WV 25302

Get Directions
Integrity Marketing Solutions - Estate Planning Marketing
Powered by