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What is duty to account and how a trustee complies

Table of Contents

    A trustee has a duty to account on a regular basis for the actions he or she has taken as trustee so that his or her performance can be assessed relative to the terms and fiduciary duties created by the express terms of the trust. Therefore, it is necessary to keep thorough and accurate records of all transactions and acts undertaken as trustee to account and to keep beneficiaries reasonably informed of the trust administration. The trustee must account to each beneficiary to whom income or principal is required or authorized to be currently distributed. An accounting is due generally either 1) annually (at a minimum), 2) at the termination of the trust, and/or 3) on change of the trustee.

    Upon reasonable request, the trustee must provide any beneficiary with the following:

    • A report of information relating to the administration of the trust relevant to the beneficiary’s interest, and
    • A complete copy of the terms of the trust.

    To facilitate accounting for the trust, it is recommended that the trustee open a checking account in his or her own name as trustee in which all cash receipts and disbursements related to the trust will be funded. Additionally, track any medical, administrative, and personal expenses of the decedent paid from the trust account.

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