It is our experience that many people have unreasonable expectations concerning the way the trust must be handled following the death of a loved one. Although probate is avoided with the living trust, there are still taxes that have to be filed, documents that have to be prepared, and of course the administration of the trust must take place.
The successor trustee (the person you name in your trust to administer the trust), is bound by fiduciary duties to act in for the benefit of your trust. However, many times a successor trustee lacks time, knowledge, and/or the resources to property administer the trust. Our estate planning attorneys at Platt & Westby, P.C., are skilled at administering trusts and are available to assist a successor trustee in the administration which do get quite complex at times.
There are many benefits to having a trust as part of your comprehensive estate plan. Not only can you effectively protect your family and assets, but:
- Having a trust can save you thousands of dollars in attorney's fees in the future by avoiding probate and clearly specifying how and when the trust is to be distributed.
A trustee is the one who handles requests of the trust and completes any administration that occurs before or after the death of the individual who established the trust.
- If no trust was in place, the estate would be handled in probate court. This would require the attention of an attorney, potentially taking a long period of time before the matter is settled.
- Trust administration is private so there is no public record in court. This is important to some clients who wish to maintain absolute privacy regarding their assets and estate.
- Large estates can be saved estate taxes by protecting assets and funding trusts according to gifting laws and other estate tax laws.
At Platt & Westby, P.C., our firm is committed to helping clients explore all of their options for protecting their assets and ensuring their proper administration during their lives and after their deaths. Our firm is staffed with knowledgeable attorneys who take the time to establish a trust that suits your best interests while you are alive. We can also structure the trust to be administered after your death in a way that minimizes the complications left to your surviving loved ones.
To further discuss your questions or concerns about trust administration, successor trustees in a trust, trust disputes or other trust matters, contact our firm online or call us today at 602-277-4441. We can meet with you and explain your options for handling your case. As always, we offer the initial consultation free of charge. Telephone conferences are available for our out of state clients.