Acting as a trustee? Better go to acting classes…
A recent consultation involving asset protection trust strategies redounded to a very basic observation applicable to nearly all trustees. As I said on the conference call to the new lay (non – professional) trustee “when you walk out of your legal adviser’s office, the half-life of you remembering his / her specific instructions begins.” His adviser totally agreed.
What does that mean? It means that new trustees start to forget exactly what they need to do, when and why the very moment they (or their attention) starts to drift. They forget, in spite having only the best of intentions, then at a key moment that requires focus and utmost attention, a distracting event (illness, family emergency, accident, major vacation, etc.) pops up.
Acting as a trustee – means act!
Serving as trustee, is an enormous and seemingly endless responsibility. Make absolutely certain you consult appropriate legal, independent fiduciary, financial, investment and tax advisers on a regular basis and or as needed. Require them to accept fiduciary responsibility in writing and assiduously monitor any hired agents. It will evidence your diligence, prudence and certain implicit fiduciary standards of care in the event questions from beneficiaries arise many years down the road.
For those interested in what it means to act as a trustee can follow the Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, NBA commissioner, Sterling ownership events like the recent Mrs Sterling interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters, Mr Sterling’s interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, following his recent Radar On-Line interview.
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