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Subject:  Trustee Responsibilities Date:  4/9/1997  8:12 PM
Author:  trmccoy Number:  9 of 98529

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 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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