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What are the duties of a trustee?

Administering a trust comes with many responsibilities, but the general duty of a trustee is to account for and manage property for beneficiaries.

If you have been chosen to administer a trust, your duties may also include:

  • Reporting to beneficiaries
  • Engaging in the court process of passing accounts
  • Dealing with a variety of parties other than beneficiaries, including tax advisors, accountants and government agencies such as the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee, Office of the Children's Lawyer and the Canada Revenue Agency

Given the complexity of these matters, a mistake or misunderstanding at any point could lead to financial loss or conflict with beneficiaries, and many trustees benefit from sound legal counsel to ensure that all of their duties are properly carried out.

Likewise, beneficiaries may need legal guidance if there is concern that a trustee is failing in his or her duties.

What all parties would undoubtedly like to avoid is litigation, which can quickly drain assets, although litigation is necessary to resolve these matters in many cases.

If you are a trustee or beneficiary with questions about a trust and its management and distribution, we encourage you to speak with an experienced trust administration lawyer.

Hagel Lawfirm provides a variety of estate planning and administration services to clients in Mississauga and throughout the GTA. To learn more, please see our estate planning overview.

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