How Does Trust Administration Work?
When someone who has set up a trust passes away, the process of trust administration begins.
The process starts with a notice that is sent to all of the trust’s beneficiaries and the other heirs of the decedent. Upon receiving this notice, the beneficiaries have a set amount of time to contest the trust, if they feel it’s necessary. If not contest is filed before the time period expires, the beneficiaries likely have given up their ability to do so in the future.
Handling assets, debts and liabilities
If the trust contains real property, such as a home or vehicle, the title needs to be bestowed to the trustee, who will ensure that it is handled per the wishes of the settlor (the person who set up the trust). After that, the trustee will take hold of other assets in the trust, such as bank accounts and investments, and distribute them to beneficiaries as stated in the trust document.
The trustee is also responsible for satisfying all of the debts of the settlor, along with paying taxes, if the estate is particularly large. This can be a complex process, so it’s best to work with an experienced trust administration attorney to make sure you are covering all of your bases.
After all of the assets have been collected, tax returns have been filed and the debts have been paid, the trustee must distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries. This should be clearly outlined in the trust document.
If you’ve been designated as a trustee, you have a number of important responsibilities to fulfill. To learn more about this process, consult an experienced Florida trust administration lawyer at the Charles Law Offices.