Trust administration is a necessary process that occurs after the death or incapacity of the person who created the trust (i.e. the Settlor). The Successor Trustee, the person named to administer the trust when the Settlor is no longer able, has many obligations to ensure that the assets that the Settlor worked so hard to acquire are not wasted or mismanaged.
If you have been named the Successor Trustee of a trust, you have a long road ahead of you, but we can help. Even if everything in a trust is spelled out in the clearest possible terms, every trust is different. These differences can determine exactly how much work will be involved, in addition to the following list of activities that are typically a part of trust administration:
- Obtaining legal documents and records necessary to administer the trust and certify the validity of the trust when dealing with third parties
- Collecting monies owed to the trust
- Maintaining an inventory of trust property
- Consulting financial and tax advisors regarding proper administration of the trust
- Paying debts and expenses of the trust
- Managing trust assets and investments
- Obtaining appraisals or valuations of trust assets
- Selling trust property
- Keeping accurate records of trust income and expenditures
- Filing tax returns (e.g. estate and/or income tax returns)
- Providing information and/or annual reports to trust beneficiaries
- Distributing trust income and property to beneficiaries
- Executing documents to transfer title to trust property to beneficiaries
The trust administration process is often complicated and confusing, and can seem overwhelming at times. It can also be confusing if you are a trust beneficiary and you don’t know if the trust is being properly administered and what your rights are. Whether you are a Successor Trustee or a Trust Beneficiary, let us help you navigate the trust administration process to minimize complications and maximize the trust assets.