- The trustee’s job is to act as a fiduciary for the benefit of all the trust beneficiaries. The trustee must be careful not to use trust assets for the trustee’s personal benefit.
- As trustee of a revocable living trust that has become irrevocable because of the death of the creator (“settlor”), the trustee must marshal the trust assets, notify the decedent-settlor’s creditors and resolve outstanding debts, provide copies of the trust to beneficiaries, file the settlor’s final income tax returns and (if necessary) estate tax return, and make distribution of trust assets to the beneficiaries in accordance with the trust terms – either outright or to continuing trusts.
- As trustee of an irrevocable trust (either one created when the settlor was alive or as a continuing trust coming out of the settlor’s revocable living trust when the settlor died), the trustee’s job is to properly invest the trust assets, make appropriate distributions to trust beneficiaries as required by the trust instrument, file trust income tax returns, and account to the beneficiaries regarding the trustee’s actions.
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