What do attorneys do in the trust administration area? They may handle issues with both corporate clients as well as individual trustees. They deal with the discharge of a trust’s terms and consult with beneficiaries regarding matters of trust preparation.
Another practice for attorneys in the trust administration area includes assisting clients through all probate and trust litigation. This consists of constructing or revising the terms of a will or a trust and prosecuting or defending a will contest or surcharge actions against trustees. The purpose of a trust and estate attorney, like a trust lawyer from Silverman Law Office, is to make sure their clients get what they want, all while ensuring they receive the most significant tax savings where available, by planning properly.
What to Do When a Loved One Passes Away and You Are the Trustee
Trust administration is the process of executing the wishes of a decedent and managing a trust’s affairs after someone passes away. The person who is responsible for following the trust’s terms and handling the trust’s business is called a “trustee.”
The first thing a trustee should do is make an appointment with a trust attorney so that the terms of the trust are understood. They can make a list of legally required items and deadlines that must be met. A trustee will need certain paperwork prepared so they can demonstrate to third parties like banks and beneficiaries that they are the person in charge of these assets and decisions that must be made. A trustee should visit an attorney shortly after someone passes away. The unknown is scary and stressful to the family, so an attorney can bring an additional feeling of security and order.
If you ever find yourself suddenly and unexpectedly the trustee of a trust, chances are you will become overwhelmed by the responsibility. As a trustee you will need to marshal assets, pay any and all valid debts, dispute invalid debts, pay taxes, finish up business affairs of the decedent, and even liquidate assets so you can distribute to the beneficiaries. An important note is that not only will you have an important legal process to complete but since a trustee is seen as a legal fiduciary with the highest standard of good faith and fair dealing to the beneficiaries, a trustee may also face liability for not complying with the law or the terms of the trust. There are strict timeline and record-keeping obligations by the trustee, which is why it is imperative to seek help from a trust attorney early in the process.
With smaller trusts, a trustee may only need 2-3 meetings with a trust attorney to set them on the right path. Larger or more complicated estates may require more ongoing involvement with a trust attorney, which is deemed an appropriate trust expense.
Why Do You Need an Attorney for Trust Administration?
You may think you don’t need an attorney for trust administration, or that you can put it off until later. However, it is much more efficient to plan ahead with a trust and estate expert in order to avoid all potential trouble. If you ever find yourself suddenly and unexpectedly a trustee administering a trust, chances are you will become overwhelmed with all of the responsibility.
Call an attorney today to go over the benefits of hiring an estate planning or trust administration lawyer who has experience with drafting and administering plans. He or she will be dedicated to making all of their clients confident and comfortable with their decisions and provide them with clarity, preparation, and security.