A family member or close friend has appointed you Trustee of their living trust. Or maybe named you in their will to be an executor or personal representative. You agreed to be named, but now you’re a little hesitant, as you have no idea what the duties entail. Being named trustee of a trust, or executor of a will, is an enormous responsibility and you must be careful and diligent in performing these duties.
If you’ve been named executor in a will, you’ll have to familiarize yourself with the probate process and how to initiate it, administer it and how to conclude it. If you were named trustee, you’ll now have to review the trust documents to make sure you follow all the provisions carefully. Unfortunately, even though it appears you are doing your family member or friend a favor, any missteps as a trustee and you could open yourself up to liability. Beneficiaries have rights under the trust and you must ensure these rights are not harmed. In addition to that, you may have to manage assets, administer new trusts, split large assets and distribute them as well.