Will You Soon Become the Trustee of an Estate?
A Santa Cruz Trust Administration Lawyer Will Help You Navigate This Difficult Transition
Acting as a trustee is a serious responsibility. A trustee is in charge of carrying out the last wishes of a grantor, outlined in his or her trust.
There are many unique challenges that a trustee will face. For example, he or she must communicate with the beneficiaries, and distribute their shares appropriately. Often times, a beneficiary may not be pleased with what he or she is allocated to receive under trust provisions. Engaging in discussions with an unhappy beneficiary can be an extremely stressful task. A trustee must also manage complex legal documents and communicate with any third parties involved, such as creditors.
While difficult, accomplishing a grantor’s final wishes is very rewarding. At the Law Office of Emily J. Buchbinder, our Santa Cruz trust administration lawyer has experience helping individuals succeed in their roles as a trustee.
What Is a Trust?
A trust is a three-party arrangement where one person (grantor) gives property or assets to another person (trustee) for the benefit of a third person (beneficiary). Setting up a trust is a great way to ensure that your belongings and property go to the right individuals after you pass away.
You can also use a trust while you are still alive. For example, you may decide to create a college fund for your children to access when they have hit a certain age. In this situation, a Santa Cruz trust administration attorney would advise you to create a living trust.
Creating a trust will help you accelerate the asset and property distribution process. Wills often take much longer to finalize, because they are subject to a legal process called probate. Since trusts are quicker to establish, they generally prove less costly than a will. The content of a trust also remains private, while wills are a matter of public record. For these reasons, many people opt for a trust over a will when planning their estate.
What Is the Trust Administration Process?
When it comes to executing the wishes found in a trust, both trustees and beneficiaries have certain rights and obligations.
For instance, trustees are responsible for overseeing the trust administration process. This person handles contacting each beneficiary and locating property and assets. He or she will then distribute the assets accordingly. Doing so may involve retitling assets and filing all the appropriate legal documents.
Trustees are also responsible for dealing with any relevant taxes, including estate taxes, and creditors with claims on the estate. Staying on top of these proceedings can be difficult, and consulting with a trust attorney in Santa Cruz can make all the difference.
Beneficiaries play a less active role in the trust administration process. However, they have a right to certain information and can hold the trustee accountable for mismanagement. They can also engage in negotiations with the trustee about the distribution process. The beneficiaries of a trust should meet with a Santa Cruz trusts lawyer to ensure that their rights are being respected by the trustee and other parties involved.
Contact Our Santa Cruz Trust Administration Lawyer
If you will soon become the trustee of an estate, then you may be feeling overwhelmed. If the grantor of the trust was a loved one, then dealing with the trust administration process upon death may be the last thing on your mind.
Our Santa Cruz trust administration lawyer understands the mental and emotional toll that this process can take. That is why we offer legal guidance to help trustees navigate any difficult moments. Our clients receive thorough explanations of their legal responsibilities and step-by-step planning.
For questions related to the trust administration process, contact the Law Office of Emily J. Buchbinder today at (831) 462-1313 or fill out our online contact form.