On November 30, 2014

Picking up from where we left off in Your Trustee Duties: Here’s What You Need to Know (Pt. 1), here, we will continue to point out the specific obligations that trustees have when they accept the responsibility of administering trusts.

While the first part of this blog series focused on outlining the ethical obligations that trustees have, here (and in the upcoming third part of this series), we will take a closer look at the administrative responsibilities that make up the trustee duties.

Your Trustee Duties: The Administrative Obligations

If you’ve agreed to be a trustee, your trustee duties will include some important administrative tasks, including overseeing all of the accounting for the trust.

If you’ve agreed to be a trustee, your trustee duties will include some important administrative tasks, including overseeing all of the accounting for the trust.

When it comes to the administrative obligations a trustee must fulfill, these trustee duties are as follows:

  • Registering the trust with the Probate Court – Within 30 days of accepting the role as a trustee, the trustee must fill out a Trust Registration Statement and file it with the Probate Court in the county where the trust is being administered. Once the trust has been registered, the Probate Court will typically not have any role in the ongoing work of administering the trust (unless, of course, the terms of the trust require the Court’s involvement).If a trust is not properly registered with the Court within the 30-day period (or reregistered whenever a major change with the trust occurs), the trustee could face some penalties.
  • Sending notices to the trust beneficiaries – Once the trust has been officially registered with the Probate Court, the next step in the administrative trustee duties will be to send out an official Notice and a copy of the Trust Registration Statement to each of the beneficiaries of the trust.While this official Notice typically must be sent out in a timely manner and must clearly explain the County and Court that will preside over any trust-related disputes that may arise in the future, this aspect of the trustee duties also requires that trustees send out copies of the trust documents (and/or the details regarding the assets the trust manages) whenever beneficiaries may make official requests for these documents.
  • Overseeing the accounting for the trust – This is one of the more involved administrative trustee duties, as it will require some meticulous and diligent recordkeeping, as well as some ongoing reporting.In particular, the accounting duties will require that the trustee:
    • Keep thorough and detailed records regarding the trust’s financial transactions (including all payouts from and income to the trust)
    • Regularly send the beneficiaries statements or reports regarding the trust’s financial activities (This will have to be done at least once a year by Colorado law, but the terms of the trust may require that this reporting occurs more often).
    • Maintain all necessary supporting documentation related to the trust’s accounting activities (including billing statements, receipts, bank statements, etc.).

We will wrap up this discussion regarding trustees duties and administrative obligations in the upcoming conclusion to this blog series – be sure to check it out!

Denver Trust Attorneys at JR Phillips & Associates, PC

When you are ready for help administering a trust or dealing with any estate planning matter, you can turn to the trust lawyers at JR Phillips & Associates, PC. We provide a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to our clients’ estate planning, elder law and other legal needs, and we take pride in helping each of our clients and their families find the best solutions for them.

Let’s discuss your options during an initial consultation. To schedule this meeting, call us at (303) 741-2400 or email us using the contact form at the top of this page.

From our offices in Denver, we serve clients throughout the southwest and southeast Metro Area, including (but not limited to) people in Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Castle Rock, Parker, Aurora, Greenwood Village and Englewood.

Categories: Trust Administration, Trustee Duties, Trustees, Executors & Fiduciaries, Trusts