When a loved one dies it can be an emotional and overwhelming time in which there is grieving but also a need to handle all the technical and legal details during a time of loss.
We are here to help.
If your loved one created a trust prior to their passing and all of his or her assets are in trust or named the trust properly as the beneficiary, then the good news is that we can begin the estate administration process completely outside of probate court.
Who Do We Help?
Every trust has named a “trustee.” The trustee’s job is to ensure that trust assets are handled properly and the trust terms are complied with.
Serving as a trustee entails a huge level of responsibility and liability. We have seen many instances where the person named as trustee will have limited background or experience in carrying out the legal and financial duties that come with administering a trust.
That’s okay. As long as the trustee is aware the most careful course of action is to hire an attorney to help with trust administration, then the trustee can feel comfortable knowing the trust is being administered properly, all legal requirements are being satisfied and the trustee is minimizing or eliminating any personal liability related to the role of trustee to the extent possible.
What Are the Trustee’s Responsibilities?
Trustees are typically responsible for all of the following:
- Notification to all heirs and beneficiaries of the pending trust administration
- Identification and collection of assets
- Determination of values of assets
- Payment of all debts, expenses and taxes of the trust estate
- Preparation of regular accountings during trust administration
- Solicitation of professional advice as to the disposition of jointly held assets, life insurance, and retirement benefits that pass through or outside the trust
- Preparation of federal and state tax returns, as well as gift tax and generation-skipping transfer tax reporting
- Communication with beneficiaries throughout the trust administration process
What Happens When a Trust Administration Is Complete?
Once the trust assets are ready for distribution, the trustee will refer to the trust terms as to how assets will be distributed to the named beneficiaries or held for the benefit of the named beneficiaries in the trust.
Depending on how the trust assets are to be distributed the trustee will prepare and sign the appropriate conveyance documents to the named beneficiaries. This part of the process admittedly can be complicated and time consuming.
Plus, the trustee will likely want some sort of assurance that upon transferring trust assets to the named beneficiaries that the trustee does not remain open to future claims of wrongdoing or omission. That is where attorney guidance comes in to help you cover gaps you may not even know exist if you are navigating trust administration on your own.
Giving the Trustee Peace of Mind
We are here to help you in your role as trustee so that you have the peace of mind you are performing your trustee duties as law the requires and that you are not exposed to undue risk or liability.
We will help you administer the trust as quickly and smoothly as possible.
If there is not a trust or if not all assets have been properly titled into the trust that was created, we can help your family through the process of estate administration, usually requiring a court process called probate.
Trust & Estate Administration Lawyers at Morgan Law Group
No matter how complex the trust or estate administration process may be, the trust and estate administration lawyers at Morgan Law Group will guide you every step of the way.
All of this can be a hugely complicated and time consuming, not to mention overwhelming. Our primary objective is to make this process as understandable and stress-free as possible for the Trustee, while keeping matters out of conflict and out of court.
To learn more about the steps you need to take after the passing of a loved one, we invite you to call our warm and welcoming team member at 949.260.1400 or use this link to Book a no-charge 15-minute Call. We will help you understand your options and guide you to your next best step.