Conflicts of Interest and the Duty to Use Skills

It is essential that a trustee exercise an extreme amount of caution when dealing with the trust and its assets. The personal duties of a trustee start with the most important: never, ever, under any circumstances commingle estate funds with the trustee’s personal funds. This is an essential component of the duty to avoid a conflict of interest. A trustee must be aware of and avoid any situation that creates a conflict of interest with the terms of the trust and the duties of the trustee.

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Use a Visitors Log to Keep Track of Elders’ Guest

I developed the idea of a communications notebook when I was caring for my grandmother which became a valuable tool that helped me stay on top of her day-to-day care while ensuring she maintained a high quality of life. Visitors are a very important aspect of ensuring the elder in your care has enough social stimulation, but there may also be times when you need to curtail a situation where there is too much activity.

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Trustee’s Duty to Deal Impartially with Beneficiaries

The duty of loyalty includes the duty to deal impartially with all beneficiaries. This can be especially challenging if there are many beneficiaries each with different wants and needs. It is further complicated when the trustee is also a beneficiary. Above all, the terms of the trust dictate how the trustee must proceed with regard to the beneficiaries. When the trust documents are not explicit the trustee must use their best judgment to perform his job.

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Communications Notebook: Tab 2 Daily Meal Schedule

When I was taking care of my grandmother I developed a communications notebook as a tool to help her day-to-day caretakers and myself manage her quality of life. In the past two newsletters I covered the overall purpose of the communications notebook and the Weekly Activity Schedule included in Tab 1. This month I will address the second tab, which includes the Daily Meal Schedule.

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The Trustee’s Duty of Loyalty to Beneficiaries

The beneficiaries of the trust are those who enjoy the benefit of a trust’s assets. Beneficiaries may include the spouse, children, associates or other family members of the creator of the trust. Non-profit organizations, religious institutions and other charitable entities as well as businesses may also be beneficiaries. The Trustee has certain duties to all the beneficiaries of the trust, which may become more complicated when there are different classes of beneficiaries or when the trustee is also a beneficiary. One very important duty is the duty of loyalty to the trust’s beneficiaries.

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