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Being a Successor Trustee in These Tough Economic Times

Depending on who you talk to about the economy, “things are going to get worse before they get better” or “things are looking up.” There is no question though that the real estate market is down in San Diego. The stock market is also not what it was several years ago. How does this affect a Successor Trustee who is trying to administer an estate and make distributions to beneficiaries?

A Trustee of course has a duty to safeguard the trust assets, invest and manage the assets in some cases, and distribute the assets to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the trust. The beneficiaries naturally want to receive as much as possible and sometimes do not want to wait for the market to turn around. You may find yourself as a Trustee having to decide whether to convert some assets into cash to put into a money market account or CD. You may have no choice but to sell real property even though home sales are down. It is a difficult decision to make as to whether to wait out the problems in the market and it is just one of the many decisions you may have to make as a Trustee.

One thing that makes it easier is if all the Beneficiaries are on the same page as to what should be done. As a Trustee, try to keep all the beneficiaries informed. If the property is on the market, keep them apprised of the sales price, comparable sales in the area, and all offers. Consult with financial advisors, realtors, or others in the know to get their opinions. An experienced estate planning firm such as Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation can help you administer a trust in a way that will limit your liability as a Trustee and make your responsibilities and duties a bit easier. Contact us for a complimentary consultation.

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