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What Are the Responsibilities of a Trustee?

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2023 | Trust & Estates |

A trust can be an advantageous estate planning tool, depending on your estate’s size and asset types. Like other options, establishing a trust will require you to make specific decisions that can impact how it will work, such as choosing someone to serve as your trustee.

This role can go to someone you can depend on entirely. You could appoint a close family member, trusted friend, or trusted company. Your trustee will have various responsibilities, including the following:

  • Upholding fiduciary obligations to you and the trust
  • Overseeing assets within the trust and performing financial duties, such as paying bills and filing tax-related documents
  • Organizing all paperwork involving the trust to keep all transactions documented
  • Maintaining inventory of the trust’s assets
  • Taking measures to manage complex assets appropriately

Trustees may also take on additional responsibilities, depending on the circumstances. The amount of work could significantly rely on the trust and the beneficiaries’ needs. These responsibilities can help you gauge who to name as your trustee.

Sometimes, the tasks can become too much to handle alone. You can appoint multiple trustees to distribute the expected work and involve a professional or corporate trustee with more experience. The appropriate arrangement can hinge on how extensive or diverse your assets are, especially if you have unique circumstances that may affect what happens to the trust after you pass on.

Established 100 years ago, Quinlivan & Hughes ranks among the oldest and one of the largest law practices in Central Minnesota. The full-service law firm has growing legal teams in the areas of employment law, business law, government law, insurance defense, trust and estate planning, and general litigation. Learn more at