Estate Planning

What role does an attorney play in trust administration

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What role does an attorney play in trust administration

After the passing of a loved one, sorting, distributing and executing their final wishes through trust administration can be complex and challenging. This process involves more than asset distribution, compiling all properties including art collections, bank accounts and art collections according to the wishes and will of the decedent.

During this process, the person who carries most of the responsibility is the successor trustee as he’s tasked with the duty of trust administration. However, the complexities and difficulties of this task often require the expertise of an experienced estate planning lawyer.

This article will explore some of the roles an attorney plays in trust administration.

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The roles of a trust administration attorney

  • Interpreting Wills and Trusts: A Legal Perspective

The complexities and intricacies of trust administration will often necessitate professional intervention and interpretation to ensure that the decedent's wishes and terms are met and implemented appropriately. Also, the decedent may have some properties that were not titled to the trust and they need to be added into the trust for distribution, and this is where a trust administration attorney comes in. They help to navigate these intricacies and use their legal knowledge to ensure the process goes smoothly.

  • Financial Obligations in Estate Management

Fulfilling the deceased’s financial obligations like paying debts, settling income taxes with the IRS and filing estate tax returns are all part of the trust administration process. A trust administration attorney guides in fulfilling these duties while complying with IRS requirements and state laws.

  • Decision-Making in Estate and Trust Administration

Trustees and executors have the responsibility of making crucial choices regarding the estate or trust during the administration process. These could include investing funds from the estate or trust, purchasing or selling real estate, and investing funds from the estate or trust. While the trustee can navigate through these processes themselves, engaging a lawyer in the process would be the best option.

  • Making Distributions

The period after the death of a loved one is usually a sensitive and critical phase in trust administration. An experienced attorney understands how this period can be for the family, so they’re in the best position to oversee this process while ensuring that distributions are made according to the decedent’s wishes without breaking the law.

  • Understanding the Probate Process and Its Relationship to Trust Administration

The probate process is arguably the most crucial in trust and estate administration. It involves the court’s validation of a Will and the settlement of probate assets according to state laws. Involving a living trust in estate planning can eliminate the need for probate, thereby facilitating the asset distribution process.

Understanding the exact type of trust structure and how it interacts with the State laws is crucial. Hence, the intervention of an estate planning attorney cannot be overemphasized especially when it involves navigating between the trust administration process and the probate proceedings.

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Trust Administration is a complex process and shouldn’t be handled with levity. You need to work with an experienced trustee attorney to help preserve your wealth and fulfill your wishes after you pass. Our knowledgeable attorneys at Citadel Law Firm can guide you through the intricacies of trust administration and develop a comprehensive strategy to suit your needs and goals.

Schedule a meeting with our experienced attorneys at Citadel Law Firm and learn more about our services!