Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a Trustee?
A: A Trustee is a person who acts as a custodian for the assets held within a Trust. He or she is responsible for managing and administering the finances of a Trust per the instructions given. The person who creates the Trust is the Trustee. The responsibilities can include recording expenses and income, distributing funds to beneficiaries, and keeping record of other transactions that occur.
Q: What is a Successor Trustee and why do I need back-up Trustees?
A: A Successor Trustee named second in line to serve as Trustee. Most often, the person who creates the Trust is Trustee until he or she is incapacitated or passes away. At that time, the Successor Trustee steps in. If the Successor Trustee is either unable or unwilling to serve the role required, it can be a good idea to name an alternate just in case anything happens to the originally-named person.
Q: How do I fund the Trust?
A: Funding your trust is the process of transferring your assets from you to your trust. To do this, you physically change the titles of your assets from your individual name to the name of your trust. If you are married, you and your spouse change the titles of your jointly owned assets to your joint trust. Typically, assets you want in your trust include real estate, investment accounts, business interests, and notes payable to you. You will also want to update most beneficiary designations to name your trust as a primary or contingent beneficiary.