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Frequently Asked Questions

Question: My friend wants to appoint me as trustee of a trust for his children's benefit. Do I have any legal concerns?

Answer: Yes.

As trustee you have a fiduciary responsibility not only to your friend's children but also to the "remaindermen" of the trust (those who are designated to receive trust property upon the occurrence of a certain event, i.e., the death of a primary beneficiary). As a trustee, you must invest the trust assets in a prudent fashion. You are obligated to address a number of tax issues and you may have to exercise discretion in paying out income and/or principal to some of the beneficiaries and to the exclusion of others. Should you breach your fiduciary duties, knowingly or unknowingly, you can be sued by any of the beneficiaries.

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