trust administration

I offer trust administration services on an hourly basis at $300/hour.  Following the death of a Settlor (the creator of a trust), a successor trustee must notify the beneficiaries of the Settlor’s death, re-title trust assets, invest trust assets, pay outstanding debts and taxes and distribute the trust assets to their intended beneficiaries.  I can help you with all of those actions and guide you through the tough decisions.

what is a trust administration?

Trust Administration is the management of trust property by a trustee for the benefit of the beneficiaries according to the terms of the trust.

The entire administration process begins with a mandatory notice. The contents and timing of this notice are dictated by law. This notice should be sent to the heirs of the deceased settlor (the creator of the trust) and the beneficiaries of the trust.

The successor trustee is then tasked with ensuring that the settlor’s wishes are fulfilled according to the terms of the trust.

When real property is owned by the trust, you need to record an affidavit and a certified copy of the settlor’s death certificate and submit several county specific forms to update title to the real property. The property title is then transferred from the deceased settlor to the trustee.

Despite the steps involved in the trust administration process, it is generally less expensive than probate and can be completed more quickly than probate.

Because trust administration can get complicated, I’m here to help you through the process.

Trust administration fees

Unlike probate, trust administration fees are not set by law.  The cost is determined based on the amount of time, effort, and expertise involved in administering the trust. Although my fees are much lower than most law firms, I do not compromise on service, helpfulness, or timeliness.

Generally, clients save money on court fees and attorney fees by administering a trust when compared to the relatively fixed costs of a probate.

trustee duties

The role of a trustee is a big responsibility with lots of potential liability.

A trustee’s duties include, but are not limited to, duties of: loyalty, impartiality, to avoid conflicts of interest, to keep beneficiaries reasonably informed, not to delegate, to enforce and defend claims, and to keep trust assets separate from the trustee’s own property.

Don’t breach your fiduciary duties and engage me to assist with your trust administration. I offer streamlined service which results in lower costs to my clients.

Feel free to contactme if you are the successor trustee and need help administering a trust.

why hire an attorney?

You just lost a loved one. The last thing you need is opaque legal homework.

Disbursing and managing trust property involves careful steps. When you choose to work with an experienced trust administration attorney these steps are mapped out for you so you can focus on what is most important.

As trustee, you must identify and marshal all trust assets like investments, real property, personal property, and bank accounts. An attorney will help transfer title to these assets to the trust’s beneficiaries.

An attorney can also assist the trustee by obtaining the federal tax identification number of the trust, settling all liabilities of the settlor, handling all disputes that may arise  between beneficiaries, and if there is a need to file a federal estate tax return for the settlor, I will work with your CPA to complete the return. Lastly, an attorney can help a trustee keep a detailed account of all funds that go into and flow out of the trust.