What is trust administration?
Trust Administration is the process of administering a trust during a grantor’s legal incapacity or death.
What is a trust administrator?
A Trust Administrator is a person or entity responsible for administering and distributing trust assets during incapacity or death or the original trustee. Often the trust administrator is a named Successor Trustee in a trust document.
What are the duties?
A Successor Trustee accepted the appointment during a loved one or even a friend’s lifetime. Often a person doesn’t realize the fiduciary responsibilities associated with stepping into the role of Successor Trustee. Trust Administration is more than reading a trust and distributing assets. A Successor Trustee acts in a fiduciary capacity. A Successor Trustee is responsible for general duties and duties outlined in the trust document. Several statutes govern the actions and duties a Successor Trustee must follow in a fiduciary capacity.
As a fiduciary, he or she has an ethical obligation to preserve the trust assets, and to protect the estate against loss. Duties may also govern the investment of assets. A Successor Trustee works to inventory the assets, manage the assets, and even distribute the assets in a trust. The Successor Trustee is responsible for following the intent of the trust. Failure to perform the duties may result in lawsuits filed by beneficiaries.
Trust administration and probate
It is true that a Trust keeps assets out of probate. However, it only works for the assets put into the trust or assigned to beneficiaries. Sometimes the Grantor may have forgotten to retitle assets and they exist outside of the trust. A Successor Trustee inventories the forgotten assets. He or She works with the attorney to file the Last Will and Testament and open a small estate to bring those assets back into the trust for distribution.
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