Trusts offer some substantial advantages to individuals who both want to avoid the probate process and pass on their assets to their beneficiaries. In creating a trust, a person nominates a successor who will control administration of assets in the trust after the creator’s death. Being a trustee is a pivotal role because these individuals must file tax returns, gather assets, pay bills, and perform many other duties. A knowledgeable probate attorney can help individuals perform this process by both making sure that a trust document s written that effectively captures all of the wishes of the trust’s creator as well as making sure that administration of the trust proceeds in a smooth manner that bypasses each of the obstacles that is known to arise during this process.
Issues Related to Trusts
Our legal counsel is skilled at drafting trusts for clients and can create any sort of trust to meet your purposes. Some of the various issues related to trusts that our legal counsel handles includes:
- Charitable Trusts
- Credit or Tax Shelter Trusts
- Discretionary Trusts
- Irrevocable Trusts
- Life Insurance Trusts
- Revocable Living Trusts.
- Special Needs Trusts
- Spendthrift Trusts
- Testamentary Trusts.
The Essential Elements of Trust Administration
Trust administration occurs when the creator of a trust dies and revolves around preserving assets that are inside of the trust for beneficiaries. Some of the most basic issues, which a trust administration attorney helps clients involved with a trust navigate include:
- Accounting Duty: Trustees must determine the value of assets that are placed in the trust and must do a full account of the assets in the trust so that their value can be fully determined. Some of the assets that are placed in trusts include investments, jewelry, real estate, stock portfolios, valuable art collections, and vehicles. Trustees must develop an accounting and bookkeeping system to monitor how trust assets are managed.
- Duty to Uphold: A trustee must uphold all of the terms that are listed by the trust’s creator within the document that establishes the trust.
- Fiduciary Duty: Individuals who are charged with administering the assets as a trustee (or trustees) have a duty of the utmost care when managing assets that are placed in a trust. If a trustee breaches a fiduciary duty and incurs damages as a result, then that trustee can be held financially responsible for the resulting harm.
- Investment Duty: A trustee often must establish an investment strategy and select worthy investments for a portion of the trust’s assets.
- Notification Duty: Trustees must also inform beneficiaries and creditors (or people to whom the trust creator owes debts) when the trust creator dies.
- Tax Duty: Trustees must file the required annual tax return forms and pay all taxes that are associated with a trust.
- Transfer Duty: Trustees must make sure that assets in a trust are properly transferred to beneficiaries.
Speak with a Skilled Attorney
It is vital that individuals understand how complicated the trust process is. Attorney Jim A Lyon understands how to avoid the many obstacles that can arise when a person creates a trust and knows how to make sure that you reach the best results possible. Contact our law office today.