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Executors and Fiduciaries Archives

How do you formally accept the role of a trustee?

Taking on the role of being a trustee to an instrument or account created by a family member, friend or colleague in Woodland Hills is a large responsibility, and certainly one that should not be taken lightly. You may do well to consider the matter for a time before actually accepting the role. While some (including even possibly the settlor) may question your apprehension in immediately assuming the responsibility, your prudence may ultimately help ensure that the trust is handled properly. The question, however, is whether or not the law automatically assigns you this responsibility.

Evaluating transactions made by a trustee

A number of different responsibilities accompany the role of trustee in Woodland Hills. One who assumes this role should do his or her due diligence is researching them all in order to avoid accusations of breaching his or her fiduciary duty. Such allegations can be quite common when it comes to arranging transactions involving trust assets. Given the interest that beneficiaries hold in a trust, one might assume that they will subject every sale or claim initiated by a trustee to a great amount of scrutiny.

How can one ensure the duties of a trustee are fulfilled?

Assuming the role of trustee for a trust created by a family member, friend or colleague in Woodland Hills is a huge responsibility, and certainly not a request you should consider fulfilling without first dedicating a significant amount of thought and care to it. By accepting such a responsibility, you assume a number of duties, both to the settlor and to the beneficiaries of the trust. To ensure that that you put forth your best effort in completing your duties as a trustee, interested parties to the trust may require a performance or surety bond.

Can you resign from being a trustee?

Assuming the responsibility of acting as the trustee for a trust set up by a family member or friend in Woodland Hills is a huge undertaking, and certainly one that should not be taken without a good deal of thought and careful contemplation. Yet even after having given your best effort, circumstances may make performing your duties as a trustee impossible. The question then becomes is there a method by which you can legally resign from the role?

Identifying reimbursable expenses for a personal representative

Assuming the role of personal representative for the estate of a family member or friend in Woodland Hills means making a huge commitment of both your time and effort. If you are not familiar with estate or probate law, you may have to put in additional hours of research on top of the time spent actually performing your duties. Many come to us here at The Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo asking if they can be paid for agreeing to be a personal representative. The payment guidelines for your services as a personal representative have been detailed in the blog before. This post will address which of your expenses may be reimbursable.

Detailing the duty to submit an estate inventory and appraisal

Those who come to us here at The Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo after having been named as the personal representative for the estate of a deceased acquaintance in Woodland Hills consider such an appointment to be quite an honor. However, if you have been asked to fill such a role, you should understand that there are a great number of responsibilities that come with it. If your experience in estate law is limited, then it may benefit you to research what your expected duties are immediately after learning of your appointment. This is because the law requires a certain immediate action of you: the submission of an inventory and appraisal of the estate’s assets.

What is a trustee’s standard of care?

When you are party to a trust in Woodland Hills, you no doubt have interest in the actions of the trustee. His or her performance in this role could directly affect your interest in the trust’s assets. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to know the basic standards that he or she is required by law to abide by if the question of a potential breach of his or her fiduciary duty were to ever come up.

Examining the potential of naming co-trustees

One of the main reason that we here at The Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo hear from Woodland Hills residents as to why they put off estate planning is because they fear upsetting family members who may be given roles in their estates. Having several options to choose from when selecting a trustee may place you in somewhat of a predicament. Each of your potential trustees may bring certain assets to the role, while also possessing weaknesses that could inhibit their ability to fulfill the responsibilities that come with it. If you are facing this conundrum, an alternate option you may want to explore would be to name co-trustees.

Naming an executor

It may come as a surprise to many in Woodland Hills how great of an emphasis experts place on beginning one’s estate planning at an early age. That is likely due to the fact that, according to recent information shared by the American Bar Association, 55 percent of Americans die without ever having drafted a will. One of the main benefits that creating a will offers may be the freedom it gives one in naming his or her own executor or personal representative. Perhaps no decision in regards to creating a will is as important, as that person will be one to act as proxy for the testator.

Lawsuit aims to stop McDonald’s from using late artist’s works

For those in Woodland Hills who have been asked to serve as the executor or personal representative of a family member or friend’s estate, their responsibilities may go beyond simply ensuring that the estate is processed and dispersed correctly. If the assets include items of artistic value or intellectual property, they may also need to ensure that the any copyright protections covering those items are respected (as such property may add an estate’s overall value). If those rights appear to be infringed in any way, then it may be left up to the one charged with administering the estate to pursue the proper legal recourse.