Trusts: What do trustees in Illinois actually do?

| Oct 1, 2019 | trusts

Most individuals understand what a trust is even though they might not completely understand the dynamics of various trusts, but what about a trustee? What exactly is the role of a trustee in Illinois when it comes to administering trusts? Essentially, a trustee can be a person or an organization holding the legal title of one or more assets for another person, known as the beneficiary. Specifically, a trustee’s role is indicative of the type of trust and what is included in that trust.

Assets in the trust must be kept safe and under the trustee’s control. Trustees must have an understanding of the dynamics of the trust so that they can fulfill their duties, which include keeping beneficiaries abreast of any accounts and taxes. They are makers of decisions regarding the trusts they administer and are beholden to make the best decisions possible on behalf of beneficiaries. 

So, trustees have what is called a fiduciary duty to look after the trust in the best way possible and must do so without any personal interests. They should be in a position an answer any questions beneficiaries of the trust have. If they don’t have answers, they need to find them.

An Illinois lawyer may be able to help trustees with the administration of trusts by providing answers to perplexing questions that may arise. Lawyers experienced in estate law and estate planning may be able to provide guidance to clients wishing to establish trusts as well as to those who administer them. It is best when individuals have some legal knowledge in both areas.