An executor of a deceased estate in Adelaide is responsible for administering the estate according to the terms of the Will and ensuring that all taxes and debts are paid. Trustees of a deceased estate, on the other hand, often have a longer and more complicated job that in some cases can last for years or even decades.
If you have been appointed as a trustee of a testamentary trust, you have certain legal requirements to uphold, and any failure to comply can leave you personally liable for financial losses suffered.
The best way to ensure that you understand your responsibilities and carry them out appropriately is to consult with a specialist Adelaide probate and estate administration law firm as soon as possible.
What is a Trust?
You can think of a trust as a type of container. Inside the container is something to be protected. This is called the trust fund. It is being held in safekeeping for the benefit of one or more people or entities, called beneficiaries.
A trustee is appointed to take control of the trust until a future date, at which time the trust fund is passed on to the beneficiaries. The trustee can be an individual or a private company appointed by the deceased.
Duties of the Trustee
The responsibilities of the trustee can be far-ranging and include the following:
Know and adhere to the terms of the trust: This information may be found in the Will, other documents related to the trust or property in question, and local state laws relating to trusts such as the Trustee Act 1936 in South Australia. The trustee has a duty to comply with all terms in these documents.
Treat all beneficiaries fairly: The trustee has a moral obligation to treat all beneficiaries in an impartial manner.
Keep meticulous records: All accounts must be kept current and ready for disclosure at the request of the beneficiaries or other authorised parties.
Invest trust funds: Exercising great care to avoid risk, the trustee is expected to invest funds according to the terms of the Trustee Act. These investments are subject to annual reviews at a minimum.
Pay and transfer trust property when necessary: Interest income and capital of the trust are to be paid to beneficiaries in a timely manner as instructed in the trust document.
Probate and Estate Administration in Adelaide
When you meet with your Adelaide probate and estate administration lawyer at Genders & Partners, you will obtain the information and peace-of-mind you need about your rights and responsibilities as a trustee. We can also help you determine if and when you should seek professional advice on issues pertaining to taxes or investing. Contact our law office today to set up your free phone consultation.
FREE REPORT “7 Things You Must Know About Probate and Estate Administration”
In this report you will Learn:
- What is Probate
- Duties of Executors
- Who Should Serve as Executor
- Executor’s Commissions
- Legal Fees and Expenses
- Sale of Real Estate and Other Property
- Challenges to the Will or Estate