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Trust Administration

Guiding You Through Becoming a Trustee

We have spent decades advising our clients on the intricacies of strategic planning and administering trusts — the management of assets, distributions, and filings associated with a trust — and working with trustees.

There are key times in our clients’ lives during which it is most beneficial to craft trusts to ensure smooth administration, and our office can provide counsel on the best timing and process.

When the settlor (or trustor) of a trust dies, if it hasn’t already, the management of the trust passes to a new trustee. This trustee’s role is to follow the settlor’s instructions for the benefit of the beneficiaries. This process often requires the trustee to:

Gather necessary documents

It is essential to gather the death certificate, certified copies of the death certificate, the trust document, and any other estate planning documents.

Provide notice to beneficiaries

Upon the death of the settlor, certain notices must be given to heirs, beneficiaries, and others. Our office can help a new trustee satisfy their legal obligations in a trust administration.

Identify and value assets and liabilities

The trust assets and liabilities must be identified. A critical responsibility of the trustee is to preserve the trust’s property and manage trust assets in a responsible manner.

Obtain titles

A new trustee must obtain title to assets for administration.

File appropriate tax documents

Necessary tax documents must be filed in a timely manner, and failure to submit the documents or meet deadlines could result in tax liabilities.

Maintain proper trust accounting

Proper accounting of transactions must be maintained throughout the trust administration process, as beneficiaries may be entitled to an accounting of the transactions.

Distribute trust assets

One of the trustee’s responsibilities is to distribute the trust’s assets to its beneficiaries according to its conditions and the law. If assets are to remain in the trust for years to come, the trustee’s duties may be ongoing.

Delegate various trust duties

If it is necessary to find experts in accounting, real estate, investment, etc., it is the trustee’s duty to find this outside counsel and oversee their roles.

Complete the trust administration

Once the trust’s assets have been distributed to the appropriate beneficiaries and all tax filings and other documents are complete, the trustee’s obligation comes to an end.

Our law office can guide you through this process and help minimize complications.

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The contents and materials of this website should be used as a general guideline and not as the ultimate source of current information. The user should consult their own legal, accounting, or other advisors.