A trust administration lawyer provides assistance to those who are involved in the process of administering a trust. The trust administration process is the process by which assets are transferred to beneficiaries after a trust creator has passed away. Although there are some similarities to the probate process, in that both the trust administration and probate processes are used to formally change ownership from a deceased person to heirs or beneficiaries, the trust administration process is also very different in profound ways from probate.
If you have been asked to serve as a trust administrator, you should be aware that there is a lot of responsibility involved in fulfilling this role. You also have a legal obligation to avoid self-enrichment or negligence as you serve as the trust administrator.
It is in your best interests to get legal help if you are administering a trust, both to protect yourself from liability or from accusations against you and to make sure that the wishes of the deceased are respected.
Zimmer Law Firm is here to help. We can guide you though every step of the process of administering a trust so the process can be done in a timely, cost-effective and appropriate way. To find out more about how a trust administration lawyer at our firm can help you, give us a call today.
Responsibilities of a Trust Administrator
The responsibilities of a trust administrator can vary depending upon the type of trust created, the instructions of the deceased, the assets held within the trust and a wide variety of other factors that impact what happens to property after a death. However, some of the basic core responsibilities of a trust administrator include:
- Providing notice to interested parties: The trust administrator must provide notice of the trust administration to parties with a potential legal interest in the proceedings or with a possible legal claim on trust assets. It is up to the trust administrator to find the parties who must be notified and to provide them with the information required by law.
- Managing assets held within the trust: Assets that are held within a trust need to be identified and, in some cases, physical assets must be located. It is up to the trust administrator to make a complete accounting of all trust assets which should be passed on to the new owners at the close of the trust administration process.
- Taking care of trust assets: During the trust administration process, the assets that are held within the trust must be managed appropriately. This can mean doing everything from monitoring investments to collecting money owed to the trust to paying property tax and mortgage bills so trust assets are protected. The trust administrator needs to keep a careful accounting and should be certain not to create the appearance of a conflict of interest or of any improprieties associated with how the trust assets are handled.
- Complying with tax obligations: Forms and paperwork must be filed with the IRS and all taxes that are due on estate assets must be paid. In some cases, assets that re held within a trust will be considered part of a taxable estate that estate tax must be paid on. Taxes due will depend upon factors including the value of assets, who inherits, and the type of assets owned.
- Transferring assets to new owners: Deeds and titles will need to be changed so beneficiaries can officially take ownership of the assets intended for them.
The trust administration process happens outside of court, unless there is some problem, so at least going to probate court and having to answer to a judge is not something that you must worry about during the trust administration process.
Getting Help from A Trust Administration Lawyer
While a trust administrator has many important responsibilities, those responsibilities can be fulfilled much more easily with the right legal help. Zimmer Law Firm makes the trust administration process simple, quick and easy so everyone benefits from a timely transfer of assets that were held within the trust. To find out more about the ways in which a trust administration lawyer can help you to fulfill your obligations when you are in charge of the trust administration process, join us for a free seminar.
You can also give us a call at 513.721.1513 to get personalized advice specific to your situation and specific to the trust that you are administering. Reach out now so our legal team can help you to fulfill your duty and transfer assets on to the new owner as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.