Trust Administration Lawyer

Estate planning attorneys have developed ways to use different types of trusts to accomplish a variety of purposes for their clients. One of the most popular types of trusts in recent years is a revocable living trust used to avoid probate, but trusts can be used to reduce tax liability, provide for care for a loved one, establish Medicaid eligibility, and meet many other needs.

All of these trusts must be managed properly to comply with the law. For instance, the trustee may need to file a tax return and pay appropriate taxes. At some point, the trust will have fulfilled its purpose and the funds in the trust must be fully distributed to beneficiaries.

If you have been named trustee, you have specific responsibilities that can be challenging to undertake. The team at Huizenga Law is available to assist with trust administration. Whether you need to wind up the affairs of a family member with a living trust or handle other aspects of a trust, we can guide you through the process or manage tasks on your behalf to comply with all legal requirements and avoid delays in distributions to beneficiaries.

Transition After Death

When someone has created a revocable living trust to bypass probate, and they have transferred assets appropriately, then they do not leave an estate that requires oversight by the court. However, the person designated as alternate or successor trustee will still need to undertake many of the same steps as the executor of an estate.

The trustee will need to take inventory of the property the deceased person owned at their death. Then they will need to pay any debts owed by the deceased person. After all debts are covered, then the trustee will need to distribute remaining assets according to the terms of the trust and all applicable legal requirements. A trust administration lawyer can work with the trustee to avoid the potential for breach of fiduciary duty or other problems.

Early Distributions

The beneficiaries typically must wait to receive funds from the trust until all bills are paid, assets are settled, and other requirements managed. This could happen within 60 days but usually takes much longer, particularly if it is necessary to sell assets such as real estate.

In some cases, a trust administration lawyer may recommend making a partial distribution of assets to beneficiaries before the administration process is fully complete. This process requires additional work, but it allows beneficiaries to invest or make use of some assets much sooner.

Help with All Aspects of Trust Administration

Trusts can be very complex, but even simple trusts can be confusing to manage for those who are unfamiliar with the legal obligations involved. Mistakes can lead to personal liability for a trustee or lost income, penalties, or delays.

Working with an experienced trust administration attorney at Huizenga Law makes the process much easier and enables you to avoid costly problems. We’d be happy to explain the ways we can assist with managing a trust for your family. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.