What Is the Role of a Trustee in Maryland? | What to Know

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A trustee has a plethora of responsibilities. Continue reading this blog and reach out to our skilled Montgomery County estate planning attorney today to learn more. Our legal team is on your side.

What is the role of a trustee?

As a trustee, you are lawfully responsible for handling the trust’s assets and distributions. Trustees are liable for a number of different legal duties, including:

  • Administering the trust by the terms of the document
  • Being reliable to the beneficiaries of the trust
  • Dealing with the beneficiaries impartially
  • Avoiding conflicts of interest between you and the trustor or beneficiaries
  • Legally separating and recognizing trust property
  • Carefully managing and investing the trust’s assets

Given the aforementioned responsibilities, it is clear that trustees have numerous roles. It is acknowledged that this is not an easy job, and because of this, trustees can be reimbursed for their labor. However, due to their responsibilities to beneficiaries, the trustee is not able to overcompensate themself.

What does a trustee do after death?

After a grantor’s death, a trustee’s first duty is to recognize and secure trust property and find the governing trust records and take an inventory of each asset. Furthermore, you will want to make sure that you have the ability and credentials to all of the trust property.

Furthermore, as a trustee, you are responsible for completing the trust’s taxes and making a reliable investment approach. You may need to pay for assessments of land or other valuable assets to have a firm grasp of the extent of the trust’s assets.

After those tasks are finished, you can start circulating assets to beneficiaries as laid out in the trust.

What are the differences between a trustee and a beneficiary?

A trustee for a revocable living trust is responsible for operating in good faith on behalf of the beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are those with a role in the distribution of the trust’s assets. They can be documented in the trust record or qualified under a category listed by the trust’s creator.

Individuals can also be both a trustee and beneficiaries of the exact trust. This kind of structure is expected in revocable family trusts, in examples where the grantor does not want an outsider managing assets. Yet, being both a trustee and beneficiary is in no way easy. Reach out to our skilled Montgomery County estate planning attorney today to learn more.

Contact our experienced Montgomery County, Maryland firm

The attorneys at JD Katz have years of experience compassionately guiding clients in Maryland through the estate planning and administration process. Our firm also has experience with matters of elder law, business law, tax law, and litigation. For a legal team that will put your needs first, contact JD Katz today.