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Can I be held accountable for errors as a trustee?

When you agree to become a trustee, you are making a big commitment. There are repercussions if you do not fulfill the job requirements as laid out in the trust. Because, as a trustee, you risk being held personally liable to the beneficiaries of the will or trust in the event it loses money. Alternatively, if it can be determined that the trust would have made money but you, for some reason, failed to carry out management of the property with the necessary skill and care required and therefore the trust did not realize the gain it should have,  you can be held liable.

Even if your failure to act or your incorrect action was totally unintentional, you could be held accountable in some cases. So keep this in mind when signing on to be a trustee of an estate, it is a significant responsibility and if the terms set about in the trust are particularly complex or ambiguous, the effort and time you are required to put forth may be substantial.

However, you may be the only person or the right person to fulfill a loved one's request. If that is the case, you may absolutely benefit from the help of a probate and estate attorney. They can help you fulfill your obligations and meet the standards of the trust with less headache and less sleepless nights.

Being a trustee is a great responsibility, and the reward is usually emotional and highly personal. Only you can gauge the worth of taking on the responsibility and determine if carrying out your loved one's wishes is worth the challenges you may take on.

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