Estate Administration Services

TRUST ADMINISTRATION

Estate administration refers to the process of collecting and managing the estate, paying any debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining property to the heirs of the estate.

Family members or loved ones may name family or friends to act as trustee of their trust after their death. As trustee you are responsible for settling and distributing the trust assets in accordance with the terms of the trust document. The trustee is considered a fiduciary and must adhere to a high standard of care. More specifically, the trustee has a duty to manage the trust’s assets in the best interests of the beneficiaries. A Trustee may only be responsible for settling a trust or a trustee may have more ongoing duties depending on the terms and conditions of the trust. Trustees often work with attorneys and other professionals to ensure that they are acting in compliance. 

Many people don’t understand the responsibility of being named as the “personal representative” or “executor” in someone’s will and discover the complexity after the person dies. Getting the advice of an estate law attorney to understand the role and responsibility – and maybe assistance in executing the estate – is often necessary.

Selecting a trustee and/or other fiduciaries is an important decision that should be met with great considerations. Not only for the reason that the person(s) you select should have the basic skill set to fulfill the role, but also because each role has inherent legal ramifications for both the estate and the designated person – not to mention a direct impact on the beneficiaries of your estate.

Talking through the decision with an estate attorney can help affirm your decisions and give you important information to provide to the person(s) selected.

Tax laws, including estate tax laws, change continually. Our attorneys can provide resources for tax consultation or preparation. Additionally, our attorneys can work with your tax preparer or financial advisor to coordinate plans and possible tax implications.

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