Trust Administration

While the preparation of a trust helps avoid probate, it does not completely eliminate the need for formal administration of a decedent’s estate.   In fact, probate and trust administration have many similarities, but the key difference is that trust administration allows most of the administrative tasks to be conducted outside of a courtroom. 

The basic duties of a trustee involve the collection, management, and investment of trust assets/estate and the accumulation and distribution of income and principal in accordance with the terms of the trust.  A trustee has a fiduciary duty to follow the terms of the trust, use ordinary care and diligence when acting as trustee, invest the trust funds in a reasonably prudent manner, avoid commingling trust funds with the trustee’s own personal funds, and avoid conflicts of interest between the trustee and the trust beneficiaries.  A trustee can be held personally liable for failure to comply with these duties. 

We assist our trustee clients with any and all portions of the trust administration process from gathering assets, notifying beneficiaries of the trust and preparing trust accountings to coordinating distribution of assets, guiding the formation and administration of sub-trusts and helping release the trustee from liability at the end of the administration.

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