Trusted helpers such as trustees and executors have a lot of responsibilities. They also have the opportunity to serve and help their loved one in a special way. Taking the time to help a loved one with his or her estate affairs can make you feel like you’ve made a difference in their life.
If you’ve been appointed as a trustee of a love one’s trust or an executor of a loved one’s will, you will need to handle all job duties with care. Take a look at the information below for guidance on how to serve as a trusted helper.
What are your responsibilities as a trustee or executor?
- Find, inventory, and protect all assets
- Manage assets until you distribute them
- Pay debts and bills
- Pay estate/trust costs
- File and pay taxes
- Distribute assets to beneficiaries
- Work with professional advisors such as an estate planning attorney, CPA, financial advisor, and insurance agent
Servings as trustee or executor can not only be a challenging responsibility, but it can also be a full-time job. You should be prepared to fully commit to the job duties.
The following tips will help you with your duties:
- Keep accurate and detailed record of all activity
- Stay organized throughout the entire process
- Keep in regular contact with beneficiaries in order to update them on the process
- Make sure that are all assets are properly managed and maintained
- Get the help of professionals, if needed
- Follow the instructions outlined in the trust document or will
- Keep the trust or estate assets separate from your own assets
- Never use trust or estate assets as your own, unless permitted in the document
If you have any questions about your duties as a trusted helper, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.