Protecting yourself as the trustee is extremely important. There is personal liability possible from many different angles: beneficiaries, creditors, state taxing agencies, federal taxing agencies, local taxing agencies, and other governmental entities. Hiring a law firm that understands what must be done is how you achieve that protection after death!
Call us to discuss trust accountings, PC 16016.7 notice, public agency notices, and other such requirements.
Many people serve as trustee thinking that a trust is simple and they do not need an attorney. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Trusts were improperly marketed, in the past, as avoiding all attorney fees after death. This is simply not accurate in most cases. The trustee has a fiduciary duty which exposes them to a tremendous amount of PERSONAL liability. In this litigious society one wrong move can cost you. Please hire an attorney who is an expert in trust law so that you, as trustee, are protected from attack! You would hate to find out after you distributed all the trust assets that you did something wrong as it can be very difficult to get money back from the beneficiaries… especially once it has been spent!
Fiduciary Duty Defined
A fiduciary duty is the highest standard of care in equity or law. A fiduciary is expected to be extremely loyal to the person to whom he owes the duty (the “principal”) such that there must be no conflict of duty between fiduciary and principal, and the fiduciary must not profit from their position as a fiduciary.