Trusts are a modern and flexible way to ensure that your property moves to an heir at a designated time. This can be upon your death or at any point in the future.
To ensure that this transfer occurs, a trust will nominate and empower a trustee. A trustee works to keep the property safe until the time comes to distribute it to the beneficiary. As such, the law places a strict duty on trustees to only act in the interests of the trust beneficiaries and to perform their roles with proper care.
Our Cranberry Township trust administration lawyer may be able to help you if you have recently learned that you have been named as a trustee. Our trusts attorney could also take the lead in protecting your rights as trust beneficiaries if you believe that a trustee has failed in their legal duties.
Every trust formed in Cranberry Township or elsewhere in the Commonwealth must nominate a trustee to oversee the administration of trust property. A trustee may be either a person or an organization. While a trustee does not need to have experience in trust administration, they always have a duty to act appropriately.
Specifically, Title 20 P.S. § 7771 says that trustees must administer to a trust fairly and prudently and according to the purpose of the document. In other words, a trustee has an obligation to act only according to the trust document and must do their best to fulfill the purpose of the trust. Furthermore, trustees have a duty of loyalty to the trust and the beneficiaries.
To achieve these goals, trustees have broad powers to open bank accounts for trusts, invest the trust property, and take any other necessary action to preserve the value of the trust. They must also be sure to distribute property in the correct amounts at the proper time. A Cranberry Township attorney could help you better understand your role as a trustee and identify the proper steps to fulfill your duties as the trust administrator under the law.
What happens when trustees don’t perform as they should? In the least serious examples, beneficiaries or trust makers may petition a court for a formal removal of the trustee from their post. This removal could allow another party to step in for more efficient administration.
In other cases, a trustee may be personally liable for any financial damage that they cause to the trust or beneficiaries. This could be the result of mismanagement of funds or property. It could also involve theft or intentional sabotage of the trust.
If you believe a trustee is abusing their role, a Cranberry Township trust administration lawyer could take the lead to investigate their actions, determine if they have violated their duty under the law, and demand appropriate remedies.
Effective trust administration is essential for trust makers to see their wishes become a reality and for beneficiaries to receive their fair share in a trust. The only party with the authority and obligation to make this happen is the trustee. Under Commonwealth law, they have a duty to act in good faith and in accordance with a trust’s purpose.
Our Cranberry Township trust administration lawyer could help you fully understand your role as a trustee, including suggesting steps that help you fulfill your legal duties. We could also represent beneficiaries or trust makers who believe that a trustee has acted inappropriately. This could result in a lawsuit that demands the removal of a trustee and the payment of damages. Reach out to us now to learn more.