What do attorneys do in the trust administration area? Are you wondering what role attorneys play in the trust administration area? Attorneys 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 of 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 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.
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 and a list of legally required items and deadlines can be calendared. 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. We typically advise that a Trustee come into our office approximately 7-20 days after someone passes away. It is our experience that the unknown is more scary and stressful to the family and once they meet with our expert attorneys they feel a sense of calm 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 marshall assets, pay any and all valid debts, dispute invalid debts, pay taxes and wind-up business affairs of the decedent and even liquidate assets so you can distribution to the beneficiaries. An important note is that not only will you have 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.
The attorneys at NM Law, APC are both determined and passionate about ensuring the clients are satisfied and confident in executing their role as trustee. Call our offices today so we can ensure your trust administration process is as smooth and efficient as possible.
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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 the trustee of a trust chances are you will become overwhelmed with all of the responsibility. As a trustee you will need to marshal the assets of the estate, pay any and all valid debts, and distribute all assets to the names beneficiaries. An important note is that not only will you have important legal processes to complete, but since a trustee is seen as a legal fiduciary, you may face legal punishment for incomplete documents or negligent mannerisms. Any legally required step that you may miss puts you at risk. For these reasons, it is important to have an attorney who is an expert in the area and can assist you throughout the entire process whether that be making sure you understands the process, know what needs to be done, and correctly follow through with your paperwork.
Having a trust in place is a gift to your friends and family. Without going through it, you do not realize the impact and the benefit of being prepared. It is much easier and less expensive to prepare a trust. At NM Law, APC we are determined and passionate about ensuring our clients are satisfied and confident in their trust and estate plans. Call us today to go over the benefits of hiring an estate planning or trust administration lawyer who has experience with drafting and administering plans is crucial to you. We are dedicated to making all of our clients confident and comfortable with our decisions and provide them with clarity, preparation, and security.