In general, a trustee will:
- Interpret the terms of the trust
- Hold the trust property
- Invest the assets
- Distribute the trust's income and/or principal to beneficiaries
- Make tax decisions concerning the trust
- Keep records of all trust transactions
- Provide accurate statements
- File tax returns
- Issue tax reports
- Answer questions from beneficiaries
And in picking a trustee, remember to ask these five questions
- Do your clients trust this person to be true to their interests?
- Are your clients focusing more on themselves in the selection process than on the potential trustee?
- Will naming this person cause family tension or a rift?
- How is the health of the chosen trustee?
- Does it make more sense--financially and otherwise--to name an outside professional as a trustee?