I have very recently embarked on my career as a trustee of two trusts, triggered by the death of my father. I too have failed to find much readily avialable literatrue aimed at the amateur trustee. (There are $95.00 text books listed in Amazon.com but they are aimed at bank or insurance company officers.)According to my lawyer (in all of 5 minutes) the basic rule of thumb is to manage in the interest of the trustor or beneficiaries. In my case, my mother is still alive so I manage both trusts with her needs in mind. However eventually the trusts will be closed out with the priciple passing on to my sister and me in equal shares. So I am thinking towards longer term growth strategies as long as my mother's needs (and anything else she wants) are well covered from safe income producing assets.Since each parent can pass along $600K without estate tax another strategy is to have the surviving parent gift out money to grandchildern or to you and your siblings at the rate of $10,000 per person per year. Finally ask yourself "Who is going to sue me if I screw up as a trustee?" If it's only an aging parent or a sibling (on good terms) then you're probalby safe regardless of what you do. As far as I can tell there is no trustee report card when you are managing affairs for your aging parents or family members.
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