Similar to estate administration, trust administration is the process by which a successor trustee (named within the trust document of a decedent who created the trust) manages the assets of the trust upon a decedent’s passing, pays all debts, taxes, and expenses, files decedent and trust tax returns, and thereafter distributes the balance of the trust assets to the named beneficiaries or subsequently created trusts (named within the decedent’s trust document). The difference, and general advantages, of trust administration is as follows:
- The named successor administrative trustee may proceed without court supervision and hence does not have to file accountings of receipts and disbursements with the probate court which also means that the trust administration is a private process (with no public records whereby outsiders can determine how a decedent’s assets are disbursed upon the decedent’s passing);
- There are no additional trust administration expenses, unless the trust document allows for payment to the successor administrative trustee, or third parties the successor administrative trustee may hire for professional assistance (e.g. accountants and/or attorneys); and
- After the payment of any debts or taxes of the decedent, the remaining trust assets may be distributed immediately to the named beneficiaries under the decedent’s trust document without any freezing of the decedent’s trust assets or additional waiting periods (otherwise imposed by probate courts).
As mentioned with the Personal Representative appointed for a decedent’s estate administration, the job of successor administrative trustee also comes with fiduciary responsibilities; mistakes or omissions by a trustee may result in liability to the trust beneficiaries. Trust administration is a critical piece of the overall process for ensuring that your loved ones and beneficiaries have all of the information, guidance and resources they will need when you are no longer here to provide for them. With the experience and expertise of Four Pillars Law Firm, your successor administrative trustee can lessen the burden of serving as successor administrative trustee by hiring us to assist you with one or more of your duties.
Now that you have discovered how we may be able to help you as successor Administrative Trustee of a decedent’s trust administration, please Contact Us with your particular inquiry and see if you qualify for a free initial consultation so that we may discuss your individual concerns and develop an estate plan that meets your needs.
If you would like to learn more about the services we offer, please visit our Asset Protection page to read about protecting your assets during life or upon your passing from potential claimants and/or creditors, or visit another one of our practice areas by making the appropriate selection at the top of the page.