Daniel A. Perry, Esq.
When a loved one dies with a trust, chances are your loved one will need some assistance. When a husband and wife set up a trust one or multiple adult children are normally named as the successor trustee. That is the person or persons who are in charge of settling the final affairs of the trustees upon their deaths. Unfortunately, many lawyers do not go over the process of trust administration during the signing meeting with their clients. Our law firm is different! At each final signing meeting, we always go over very carefully the obligations of the successor trustees when it comes to settling the trust after death.
Trust administration is a service that we routinely provide to our clients and the surviving family members, even when we did not prepare the trust. Even in the latter case, we can still assist Tennessee families with the trust administration process
What Happens When the Surviving Spouse (The Initial Trustees) Pass Away? What Happens Next?
I am frequently asked by my clients when setting up their trust documents, what happens to our children when we are gone. Well, that depends because each trust, each estate, and each family situation will always be different. However, there are several items that will need to be completed including:
- Notifying all beneficiaries of the death of the initial trustees
- Filing the final income tax return
- If the trust will be held open, then a trust income tax return may need to be filed annually
- Accounting for all of the assets of the trust
- A trust bank account may need to be opened to hold financial assets for the trust
- Paying all the final bills and expenses including the funeral bill
- Collection of all life insurance proceeds that the initial trustees owned during their lifetime
- Contacting all the financial institutions of the nomination of the successor trustee after death
- Determining the beneficiaries of the retirement accounts
- Obtaining all the correct values of all real estate and business interests that are titled in the trust
- Paying all expenses of the trust
- Liquidating the necessary assets of the trust to pay the final bills and expenses
- Investing the assets of the trust in a safe and proper manner
- Distributing the trust assets to the beneficiaries as stated in the trust agreement.
As stated above, we routinely provide these services to our clients. There is no need, and it is usually very dangerous to handle this on your own. If you act improper, even inadvertently, you as the successor trustee could be held personally liable for mismanagement of the trust assets. Therefore, it is important to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney that can provide the necessary trust administration services to guide you through the process as serving as successor trustee.
Call Trust and Estate Administration Attorney Daniel Perry!
Many people do not think that hiring an attorney to settle a trust or estate is necessary, and that the process is just not that difficult. Unfortunately, handling your own trust and estate settlement is like trying to before your own root canal. It is possible I suppose. However, the damage that you may cause tyring to do it yourself will far outweigh what you would pay a competent professional to provide the service for you.
In your first meeting, our attorneys will get all the information regarding the estate settlement and provide you with a crystal clear quote of the legal fees involved in the process to complete the trust and estate settlement. With Fidelis Law' 100% Unconditional Money Back Guarantee, You Can't Go Wrong!
Call Our Brentwood, Tennessee Office Today at 615-490-0477 to get started!