5 Basics of Trust Administration
The death of a loved one is never easy. If you have been named as a trustee to administrator a loved one’s trust, you can honor that person and help continue their legacy by performing your duties in the most efficient, organized and fair manner possible.
Trustees are responsible for managing the asset distribution of the deceased person to ensure that all beneficiaries receive what is rightfully theirs. It may be helpful to hire a trust attorney to help with this process. Trusts do not have to go through probate, so assets can typically be distributed more quickly than when the person has a will only. This process is not court supervised; however, the courts may get involved if there are any disputes.
There are some trustee guidelines that should be followed:
- Organization: you will need to assess the value of the estate, including any debts and liabilities. Accurate record-keeping is absolutely essential to make this a streamlined process.
- Objectivity: you must put all personal feelings aside as you distribute the estate to the beneficiaries in compliance with your fiduciary duties.
- Honesty: you must act in good faith, always putting the beneficiaries’ interests first. Full disclosure of all transactions and any payments you receive as a trustee is important to protect yourself from any legal actions against you.
- Communication: you will be responsible for informing various people and organizations about the decedent’s death. This will include the beneficiaries, Social Security Administration, Department of Health and more.
- Details: there will be many details to take care of including getting a Taxpayer Identification Number, reporting gains and losses, having assets appraised, paying bills, handling mail, filing tax returns, etc.
If you are faced with handling a trust administration in Denver and aren’t sure of the steps to take, contact the Denver trust administration lawyers at The Brown Law Firm LLC. We can help you understand your responsibilities and outline a strategy for making the process as streamlined and quick as possible. Contact us at (303) 339-3750 or send us a message online to meet with our experts.