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Duties of a Trustee

Is It Possible To Be A Trustee And Executor Simultaneously?

Yes, it is possible for one to serve as both estate executor and trustee simultaneously, and this is commonly done in estate planning, but the individual who is appointed must meet all the legal requirements that are specified for an executor and also for a trustee.

Is A Trustee Allowed To Sell Property That Is Held In A Trust?

In general, a trustee has an obligation to preserve trust property, and as such the trustee may not have the power to sell it; thus a trustee should always receive an assurance before a sale to ensure the power of sale is one that can be exercised.

Do Beneficiaries Have A Legal Right To View The Trust?

Contrary to popular opinion, a beneficiary may be able to do more than just simply wait it out till the trust distributes. While the trustee is the holder of the legal title to the assets in the trust, the beneficiary does have certain rights.

Who Is The Owner Of The Property In A Trust?

When a trust is created, the owner of the property, sometimes referred to as the ‘trustor,’ ‘grantor,’ or ‘settlor,’ will transfer the legal ownership to another entity such as an institution, or a person that is referred to as the ‘trustee.’ The trustee is then the manager of the property for the benefit of the beneficiary. It is common for a trustee to be paid for her or his services.

Is It Possible For An Attorney To Serve As The Trustee?

During the process of drafting a trust, attorneys are legally allowed to discuss the process and to inform their client of the option for an attorney to serve as the trustee even. But the attorney must always honor their duty to a client and recommend the most ideal fiduciary to their client.

What Is The Allowable Time Frame For An Executor Of A Will To Settle An Estate?

The probate process can possibly be handled in as few as six months, but could possibly take a year or more to resolve. If an executor fails to perform his or her duties in a timely manner, or if the estate is complicated, it could delay the process. Additionally, poor management such as distribution of assets before settling with creditors, or settling taxes, could put the executor into a situation where he or she is personally liable for owed monies.

After A Death, How Does The Trust Process Work?

Closing a trust after a death is similar to the probate process for a will. Regarding a will, the decedent has previously named an executor who will be in charge of gathering his or her assets and distributing them to the beneficiaries. Payment for these services typically comes via the probate estate, essentially from cash or assets not transferred to the trust during the decedent’s life.

Is It Possible For An Executor To Change The Beneficiary?

An executor does not have the authority or legal power to change any terms of a will. By law, the executor must simply follow the instructions of the will, and perform his or her duties accordingly. If the beneficiaries feel the need to make arrangements afterward, they may be able to reach an agreement on their own for no beneficiary is legally bound to accept an inheritance, or all of it. This is an arrangement that would be between beneficiaries after the will has been executed and distributions have been made. But the executor has no authority to make changes or adjustments whatsoever.

What Are The Rights Of A Beneficiary?

Trust beneficiaries always maintain certain specific rights in regard to the trust. Their rights are dependent on the type of trust, type of beneficiary, as well as the detailed provisions of the trust, and according to any state laws that could be in effect.

A current beneficiary is one who is currently holding an interest in and is entitled to income and principal derived from the trust. Additionally, a remainder or contingent beneficiary has an interest in the trust that begins after any current beneficiaries’ interest is completed.

There are basic provisions contained within a trust that will point to which beneficiaries shall be entitled to an accounting of trust activities and under what circumstances. In regard to a revocable trust, it can contain some provisions that require accounting only to the specific current beneficiaries of the trust such as the grantor or grantors during their lifetime. Sometimes however, an accounting to select contingent beneficiaries is also required.

As always, state law and detailed terms of a trust will play a part as well and dictate the specific rights of a beneficiary. Some of the most common rights awarded to beneficiaries of irrevocable trusts are as follows: payment, right to information, right to an accounting, removal of the trustee, and termination of the trust.

For more information on Duties of Trustee in Texas, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (512) 288-3200 today.

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