Minneapolis and Woodbury, MN Estate Planning Lawyers
Trust Administration Lawyer in Minneapolis, MN
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Helping You Navigate the Administration Process
Trust administration is the process of overseeing and distributing the trust to beneficiaries based on the trust agreement. This is done by the trustee. Usually, when the person who created the trust (the “grantor”) passes away, the administration process of a trust might include taking inventory of the estate, filing income taxes or estate taxes, paying debts, and the distribution of assets to family and loved ones, as described in the trust. Being a trustee can be a complicated process, and it is necessary for the trustee to understand the laws and regulations surrounding trusts as well as the basics of financial management. This can be a lot for a layperson to handle, so a trustee will often hire a trust administration lawyer to help them ensure that they are following all required laws and regulations in administering the trust and avoiding costly mistakes and potential liability.
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Speak with an experienced Minnesota trust lawyer from Stone Arch Law Office to learn more about the process.
What is Trust Administration?
There isn’t just one type of trust, and trust administration can work a little differently for each type of trust. The trustee must make sure the terms of the trust are carried out as the grantor wished, while also following all pertinent laws and regulations. Additionally, the trustee must make good financial decisions, and do what is best for the beneficiaries at all times. This can be a daunting and stressful process, given the level of knowledge needed and the changing nature of laws and regulations over time. Trustees can be held liable for not following laws or for making poor decisions. Therefore, knowledgeable counsel is highly recommended. An experienced trust administration lawyer can help. From preparing an inventory of trust assets to creating a plan for distribution, it’s important to consult with an experienced trust administration lawyer first.
What are the Responsibilities of a Trustee?
Quite often, a family member is named trustee of one or more trusts. This person has likely not been a trustee before and may be anxious about fulfilling their duties properly. Once the trust is in effect, the trustee becomes legally responsible for the trust and is responsible for carrying out its terms. Duties may include informing and communicating with beneficiaries, investing the assets of the trust, preparing and filing all required records, statements, and tax returns, answering beneficiaries’ questions and making decisions as they are needed. All of these duties are important and must be carried out according to the laws and regulations that apply, the terms of the trust, and the best interest of the beneficiary or beneficiaries. Mistakes can be costly, not only to the trust but to the trustee, who may be held personally liable in certain cases. Hiring a trust administration lawyer is advisable, and is generally paid for by the trust itself.
When Should I Hire a Trust Administration Lawyer?
If you are administering a trust, you want to do the best job possible. You want to be sure that all laws and regulations are followed, and you want to do what is best for the beneficiary or beneficiaries. Meanwhile, it is important to protect yourself from personal liability for errors in trust administration. Most trustees have many questions that only a skilled and experienced lawyer for estate planning can answer. It is likely that the trust you are being asked to administer has a provision allowing you to use funds from the trust to pay for legal advice. Such advice can be invaluable in ensuring that the trust is administered properly and that you, as trustee, have the peace of mind of knowing that you are doing things correctly.
Do I Really Need a Trust Administration Attorney?
Trusts are a common vehicle for avoiding probate, and for getting assets into the hands of the chosen beneficiaries with a minimum of stress and a minimum of cost. Administering a trust has many steps and responsibilities, all governed by the applicable laws, regulations, and fiduciary practices. The tasks and responsibilities can be overwhelming for a trustee who does not have experience or whose experience is not recent, as laws and regulations change over time. A trust administration attorney from Stone Arch Law Offices can help you to live up to the expectations of administering a trust. Book a call with us today to get started now.