An individual takes on legal responsibilities when he agrees to be a trustee. If the trustee does not perform his duties properly, he could be personally liable.
A trust is a legal arrangement through which one person (or an institution, such as a bank or law firm), referred to as a trustee, holds legal title to the property of another person.
A trustee’s duties include locating and protecting trust assets, investing assets prudently, distributing assets to beneficiaries, keeping track of income and expenditures and filing tax returns. A trustee has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of the trust, meaning that the trustee has an obligation to act in the best interest of the beneficiaries at all times. It also means that the trustee will be held to a higher standard than if the trustee were dealing with his personal finances.
A trustee is entitled to hire an attorney and other professionals like an accountant to assist in the trust administration. The attorney, accountant and other professional fees are considered an expense of trust administration and are paid from the trust funds.