A trustee is a fiduciary which means “A person who is required to act for the benefit of another person on all matters within the scope of their relationship; one who owes to another the duties of good faith, trust, confidence, and candor. One who must exercise a high standard of care in managing another’s money or property.” Black’s Law Dictionary (9th Edition). A trustee has many duties and powers when administering a trust governed by Indiana law.
Below are some of the duties of a trustee under Indiana law:
1. Administer a trust according to the terms of the trust.
2. Administer the trust in a manner consistent with the Indiana Uniform Prudent Investor Act.
3. Preserve trust property.
4. Make the trust property productive.
5. Keep the trust property separate from the trustee’s individual property.
6. Maintain clear and accurate accounts.
7. Keep trust beneficiaries reasonably informed about the administration of the trust and of material facts necessary for such beneficiary to protect their interests.
8. Avoid conflict of interests.
9. Not to engage in self-dealing.
Below are some of the powers of a trustee under Indiana law:
1. Buy or sell trust property.
2. Manage real estate held by the trust.
3. Continue the operation of a business.
4. Pay trust taxes or other trust expenses.
5. Employ professionals such as attorneys, accountants or financial advisors.
Even though a trustee has many duties and powers, he or she is also bound by the terms and provisions within the trust document. In some circumstances, a trust document may modify a trustee’s duty or a trustee’s power so it is important for any trustee to fully understand both the trust document as well as Indiana law.
If you are a trustee of a trust in Indiana, you should consult with an experienced attorney to ensure you are correctly administering the trust document according to its terms and within the bounds of Indiana law.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice