Every trust has a trustee, who holds property for one or more beneficiaries. Indeed, the most important person in the trust framework is the trustee, the one responsible for managing trust assets. The trustee is the one who handles all the necessary paperwork and sees that tax returns are filed.

Therefore, if you agree to serve as a trustee you should do so only after careful consideration. Trust law creates a fiduciary responsibility under which the trustee is accountable to the trust beneficiaries, not to the trust creator, and breach of fiduciary action may generate an action by the beneficiaries. Thus, every trustee has to act as a responsible fiduciary, serving the beneficiaries’ best interests, rather than dance to the trust creator’s tune.

As a fiduciary you must invest trusts assets “prudently”. Under “prudent investor” guidelines, fiduciaries must look at the entire portfolio, taking appropriate risks in search of suitable rewards. A formal investment policy, developed by a professional, can help you meet your responsibilities. Also, a solid investment policy may be a helpful defense against possible claims, as long as that policy is created and monitored in good faith.