If a loved one names you as the trustee or beneficiary of their trust, you need a knowledgeable lawyer to walk you through the trust administration process. While Trustees may be able to manage the trust property according to the trust document’s terms, sometimes the administration can be a multi-step process for which it would be recommended to work with an attorney to help facilitate the process.
What are the steps involved?
Every Trust administration starts with mandatory notice to all beneficiaries and the settlors’ heirs. Once the notice has been received by a beneficiary, there will be a certain amount of days to contest the trust (depending on the jurisdiction). Typically once this period has run, the next step would be for the Trustee to handle any real property according the the settlor’s wishes. There might be property tax implications, so It’s of great importance that the trustee complete the proper tax reassessment and exemption forms. We would recommend you hire an attorney to help prepare these documents.
Because a Trust can hold other types of trust assets, such as bank or investment accounts, the Trustee will be required to obtain an EIN number for the trust and then transfer those assets into the trustee’s name as the successor trustee. Also any income earned from the accounts in the name of the trust must correctly reported to the IRS.
Another thing that requires the Trustee’s attention is any debts left behind by the settlor. All debts need to be paid as well as any outstanding taxes (Estate and Income Tax if applicable). It is very important that an detailed accounting is kept during the Trust Administration.
The Trust Administration Process may be completed once the assets have been collected, all debts have been paid, applicable tax returns are filed, and all liabilities have been settled. Completion would mean that the Trustee distributes any remaining assets to the Trust Beneficiaries under the terms of the Trust.
If you are a Beneficiary or a Successor Trustee under someone’s Trust, contact the Law Offices of GP Schoemakers, PLLC today to arrange a consultation with an estate planning lawyer in Galveston/Houston, TX.
Attorney Schoemakers will sit down with you to explain how your loved one’s assets will be distributed according to their wishes. Make an appointment today.
4 Reasons To Establish A Trust
Attorney Schoemakers can also help you establish a trust and name beneficiaries. Creating a trust is the best way to divide your assets and make your wishes clear. Establishing a comprehensive trust will:
- Designate your beneficiaries
- Help your loved ones avoid probate
- Protect your assets if you’re involved in a lawsuit
- Protect your Beneficiaries from Divorce, Creditors, and Lawsuits
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Grace is extremely knowledgeable in what she does and incredibly caring in providing your family with a solid plan to take care of them. She is very detail oriented and is so thorough in her planning for you. I encourage you to make an appointment to see her!