Acting as your Trust Administration Attorney, EMSeid Estate Law can be at your side throughout the entire process.
It is more common than ever for an estate plan to involve a trust, rather than a traditional will. Winding up the financial affairs of a decedent is the responsibility of the successor trustee.
The Responsibilities of Trustee
A benefit of a living trust is that at the death of the settlor/trustor, title to trust assets is in the name of the trust and the successor trustee will have the legal authority to administer and transfer the assets to trust beneficiaries under the terms of the trust. This saves the time and the cost of probate for the trust assets. The successor trustee has the responsibility of administering trust assets in a timely way, on behalf of trust beneficiaries and according to the terms of the trust. Some of the responsibilities of the trustee include:
Organize all documents, titles, bills and other paperwork related to trust property
Get a number of death certificates for various title changes and agencies
Notify all relevant state and federal agencies
Identify and notify the beneficiaries of the trust
Transfer title into your name as trustee
Obtain appraisals and valuations of trust assets
Understand the trust instrument, and how assets need to be managed or distributed
Accepting your responsibility as trustee of a trust has many intricate legal components and responsibilities. Often the deceased settlor/trustor is a family member, and having the assistance of an experienced trust administration attorney can ease your stress and worry of serving in this important role, while you are also grieving for your loss.
EMSeid Estate Law can be at your side throughout the entire time of administering the trust to answer your questions and make sure all necessary paperwork is completed correctly and on time. We have the background in trust administration to give you the legal counsel that you need during your time as trustee.
This list of tasks may look like a full time job, and many trusts have a large amount of assets, many beneficiaries or management of assets for children. In these cases it can be helpful to have legal assistance to take care of some of the details, especially when it comes to complex property holdings, investment management and transfer of title to beneficiaries.
Often a trust becomes irrevocable upon the death of the settlor. An irrevocable trust is a unique taxpayer, and needs its own tax identification number. Handling trust affairs is very similar to managing personal or business finances, but you will also have the fiduciary duty to act in good faith and in the best interests of the trust beneficiaries. You don’t have to take on this responsibility alone, and EMSeid Estate Law is available to be your trust administration attorney.
The Advantages of a Trust Administration Lawyer
Even if you are very organized and have extra time, the role of a trustee can be daunting. Our firm can provide a wide range of services to assist you so that the trust is handled in the way that was intended. Some of our services include:
Transferring title of trust assets
Review of the trust instrument to determine specific distribution requirements
Communication with government agencies on your behalf
Preparation and filing requirements for tax purposes
Evaluation of creditor claims and payments
In some cases, a deceased may have both a trust and a will, and if that occurs we can assist you with the probate of the will if required. If the executor is another person, then we will facilitate communication so that the distribution of various estate assets is as seamless as possible. EMSeid Estate Law is available to discuss your trustee role at any time, and we can consult with you on what will be required of you as trustee. Please contact us so that we can share with your our trust administration services as part of our estate planning practice.