Why Accounting, Communication, and Transparency Are So Important for Trustees

Being appointed as a trustee of a trust has important ramifications for not just the trustee but also for other family members who are entitled to receive distributions from the trust. Trustees have to be able to account for all of their actions as well as providing regular accounting to beneficiaries. At a minimum level this should be done once per year.

Furthermore, beneficiaries are also entitled to copies of the trust document. Meeting with the beneficiaries once a year is an option available to trustees but it is one that can be very beneficial should you choose to do so. The support of an estate planning attorney is strongly recommended as you move forward.

An estate planning attorney can help you understand the role that you are taking on as a trustee. When it comes to working as a trustee, you want to minimize the potential for conflict and confusion but you also should err on the side of more disclosure rather than less. Improper transparency can leave beneficiaries to wonder what you are doing and can also prompt them to file lawsuits.

Communication with beneficiaries should be regular and clear but you are not entitled to tell them every single detail of what you are doing on a daily basis. If you have questions about administering a trust, schedule a consultation with a lawyer.

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