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If you have been named trustee, you will have a variety of responsibilities that you must tend to. Note that you cannot use ignorance as defense if you are sued for mismanagement of the assets of the trust.
If you a successor trustee, when you come on board, you have the exact same responsibilities and duties as the initial trustee and will be held accountable if you do not handle the trust in a responsible fashion. If you find out that your predecessor mismanaged the trust, it is your responsibility to bring it to the attention of the beneficiaries and your co-trustees, if any.
If acting as trustee is not something that you are interested in doing or you cannot continue to do so because of personal circumstances, you may resign as trustee. If you have been acting as trustee for a short period of time, it is prudent to account to the beneficiaries for your acts and proceedings as trustee before you resign. This will ensure that you are released of personal liability with respect to your trusteeship period.
As long as you are acting as trustee, you must act with prudence and fairness. Since you are taking care of the assets for the beneficiary, you are responsible for doing the best you can to avoid waste of assets, and you must grow assets. Many people worry that they could get in trouble should they make a bad decision, but that is not the case. As long as there was no ill intent, and it was a reasonable decision at the time that it was made, there won’t be any penalties. Trustees do, however, typically manage assets conservatively to ensure assets will be there for the beneficiaries when the time comes.