What is the role of a trustee when you die?
the role of a trustee

What is the role of a trustee when you die?

When an estate owner dies the job of a trustee begins. A trustee is usually charged with managing and protecting assets placed in a trust by its owner. So in the event that the grantor, or the owner of the trust dies, it is the job of this individual to share or manage assets placed in the trust according to the wishes of the grantor.

For instance, if the grantor’s wish is for the assets in the trust to be distributed to certain persons at certain age or time, it is the duty of the trustee to see that such wish is fulfilled. If the individual goes contrary to the wish of the grantor, he or she could be in trouble for not fulfilling his fiduciary duty

Who is a Trustee?

A trustee is an individual selected by a grantor to manage money or assets that have been kept in a trust for a person. Trustees are not only individuals, a trustee can also be a bank or a trust company, or both.

Being selected a trustee is one of the best ways to help a friend or a family member. It means you become responsible for the money placed in a trust. You’ll manage the money for whosoever selected you as a trustee, and will only use the money to the best interest of the individual.

What is a Trust?

A trust is like a legal vehicle created by a grantor who places the assets in the trust in the care of a trustee. It is the job of the trustee to ensure that the law of the trust is adhered to. It is also the job of this individual to ensure that the assets in the trust is well managed according to the wish of the grantor.

There exit three important individuals involved in a trust:

The trustee: The individual charged with managing the assets in a trust

The grantor: This is the owner of the trust. The job of the grantor is to create a trust and select a trustee for the trust

It is the job of the grantor to select a trustee including the beneficiaries of the trust. It is possible to have more than one grantor, trustee or beneficiary involved in a trust. 

An individual can decide to set up a trust for a beneficiary because of the following reasons:

  • If the beneficiary is a minor
  • If the beneficiary is an old person who needs to pay for long-term care
  • If the beneficiary is incapacitated and in need of help to manage their affair

Role of a Trustee?

If you discover that you have been named as the trustee of someone’s trust, you may have no idea of what to do. A trustee isn’t supposed to do anything when the owner of the trust is alive. The work of a trustee starts when the owner of the trust dies. Below is a list of the responsibilities of a trustee after the death of the grantor.

  1. It is the duty of a trustee to locate and protect the assets of the grantor after the individual death.
  2. It is the job of the trustee to obtain life insurance policies, annuities, including retirement accounts on which the revocable trust of the grantor has been selected as the main beneficiary.
  3. It is the job of the trustee to ensure that all personal representative or the executor of the grantor’s estate are well coordinated.
  4. It is the duty of the trustee to get the date of death certificate, the values for the grantor’s trust, and the appraisal of estate including business interests.
  5. It is the job of the trustee to prepare and file the necessary income tax and estate returns
  6. It is the duty of the trustee to ascertain the income tax of the grantor or estate tax liabilities
  7. It is the duty of the trustee to manage and invest the assets of the grantor until the time for distribution.
  8. It is the duty of the trustee to pay off all unpaid debts of the grantor