Trust Administration

Trust Administration

Trustees carry a heavy legal responsibility. They owe fiduciary duties to beneficiaries (including the duties of loyalty (no self-dealing), prudence, and impartiality) and the settlor (the person or persons creating the trust). The trustee must account for their actions and could be subject to legal action.

Trust law contains many pitfalls for trustees who are uneducated about the law or fail to take sufficient precautions to properly fulfill their duties. We help trustees administer trust estates by providing legal information, advice, and representation. We can also provide legal counsel to settlors and beneficiaries who feel their rights may have been violated by a trustee.

A trust is a relationship in which a person (or organization), the trustee, holds title to property for the benefit of another (the beneficiary). There are many steps a trustee must take in order to fully execute his or her duties, including:

  • Making an inventory of the property in the trust, including, but not limited to, financial assets, and real and personal property.
  • Taking control of the assets through proper legal documentation.
  • Keeping records and accounting for assets, disbursements, and costs. Such records would include accounting schedules of receipts, charges, gains on sales, disbursements, losses on sales and other credits. A trustee also must also issue a report accounting for the handling of the assets.
  • Disposing of assets and making distributions to the beneficiaries. This includes calculating the distribution to ensure that the terms of the trust are followed and property is correctly transferred to beneficiaries.
  • Winding up the trust, making sure all costs are paid, accounts are properly closed and trust documents maintained.

Contact our office today whether you are a trustee in need of assistance or a beneficiary or a settlor with concerns about the actions of a trustee.

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