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Trustee Duties:

A trust is a legal document that can contain your instructions for what you want to happen to your assets when you die. 

A trust is controlled by its "Trustee" - usually a person chosen by the trust's settlor ("grantor").  Among other things, a Trustee is required by law to act in accordance with their duties, including a duty to administer the trust solely in the interest of the beneficiaries.  If a trust has two or more beneficiaries, the Trustee has a duty to deal fairly and act impartially with each of them.  A Trustee must not use or deal with trust property for their own benefit or for purposes unconnected with the trust, and trust assets must be kept separately, with trust assets and income accounted for at regular intervals. 

The trustee is responsible for seeing that the assets of the trust are distributed properly and in a timely manner.  Added to their duties, is a list of tasks that they are expected to actively perform, generally including the following:

Review of the trust document
Contacting all trust beneficiaries and heirs
Contacting financial institutions and gathering all trust assets
Estate Tax Analysis
Collection of death benefits
Creation of sub-trusts
Dissolution of trust

There are many other duties of a Trustee, but most Trustees are laypersons, not professional Trustees who deal with legal or financial matters a daily basis.  Sometimes knowingly, and sometimes through lack of proper professional guidance, Trustees often breach their duties and cause damages to the beneficiaries they are supposed to protect.

If a Trustee is not handling their responsibilities properly, they need to be guided to do so, or removed from the office of trustee to prevent further damaging the beneficiaries' interests.  

At the Law Offices of Ernest Kim, we've helped countless Trustees properly manage their trust responsibilities to a successful final termination of the Trust. 

We have also helped beneficiaries get answers and make sure trust assets are properly managed, protected, and accounted for.   We've assisted countless beneficiaries who had been in the dark about their rights for years, to finally receive the assets and information intended for them.