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What responsibilities are imposed upon a Massachusetts trustee?

The above headline for today's blog post can be quickly answered in a single word, namely this: lots.

And coupled with that, it certainly merits mention to any person contemplating naming a trustee for an estate matter or who, alternatively, is considering accepting an offer to be a trustee, that the duties imposed upon a trustee can be both material and diverse.

Certainly it is an honor to be asked to be a trustee, especially if a request is extended to you from a relative, close friend or other intimate acquaintance. Being asked signifies another person's well-considered view that you should have oversight and an ability to act regarding important family-related matters.

Notwithstanding the satisfaction that might reasonably attach for any person asked to be a trustee, though, it is equally incumbent upon a would-be or already serving trustee to keenly appreciate the challenges linked with administering a trust.

And those can -- indeed, routinely are -- many, including (as we note on a relevant page of our family law website discussing trust administration) these important matters:

  • Contacting and maintaining reasonable communication with trust beneficiaries
  • Valuing and adequately preserving trust assets
  • Properly distributing assets according to a trust creator's instructions
  • Handling all required tax-related matters

Although adequately dealing with all those consideration is a doable proposition for some trustees, we stress on our website that many such individuals duly come to appreciate that they "do not have the necessary time, resources or expertise required" to fully care out their duties as a trustee.

A proven trust administration attorney does, and can be a valued ally for any trustee seeking to conscientiously carry out his or her fiduciary duties under a trust.

Trusts are flexible and high-utility estate planning vehicles that command a strong upside in many estate plans. A proven estate administration attorney can help to ensure that they are properly administered in all material respects.

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The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen
21 Central Street
Andover, MA 01810

Phone: 978-494-6730
Phone: 978-409-1928
Fax: 978-849-8212
Map & Directions

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We are in a 1700s Colonial located on the intersection between Brook Street, Central Street and Essex Street in historic downtown Andover, Massachusetts. The parking lot entrance is located on Brook Street, which is a one-way. From Central, turn down Essex Street. Before reaching the railroad tracks, when you see the St. Augustine Church on your right, take a sharp left turn on to Brook Street, which will turn you back toward Central Street. As you ascend the hill back toward Central Street, you will see large stone pillars on either side of the entrance to our parking lot. We have assigned parking spaces numbered 7 and 10.

From the parking lot, you may take the stairs located on the rear, left-side of the building up to the garden area, where the foyer entrance to our office is located. You can also follow the sidewalk on Brook Street up to Central Street, walk along Central Street past the main house entrance (with a wrought iron gate across the walk way) to an opening in the wrought iron fence, in to the garden area where the foyer entrance to our office is located.