Texas estate planning attorney Gerald Winters has over 20 years of experience assisting clients with trust administration. While the administration of a trust can be a daunting task, the guidance of a qualified attorney serves to make the process so much easier.
Below, Attorney Winters answers questions to some of the most common trust administration questions asked by clients:
What Is The Trust Administration Process?
Trust administration is the management and disbursal of assets in a trust that is handled by the person or entity appointed as trustee throughout its lifetime.
Although a trust is often at the center of an estate plan, it will not manage itself. What’s more, only a trustee can perform trust administration duties, so it’s crucial that there is an informed and mindful guardian of the assets held within the trust.
There is often a lot involved in trust administration, including the distribution of assets (either all at once or gradually over time), as well as all of the bookkeeping, tax, and clerical work that goes along with it.
Trust administration might also involve the management of investments, maintenance of physical property, and the filing of tax returns, among other things. Additionally, conflicts are always a possibility, and the trustee might have to meditate these situations during this time.
Because of the time commitments and costs involved in trust administration, it’s not uncommon for trustees to feel inundated by the job – especially when the trustee is not an expert in the laws and duties involved in the process. For many people, this burden is not something they feel prepared to handle, so an attorney comes on to help oversee the stewardship of the assets within a trust.
Gerald Winters’ trust administration law firm offers support to trustees throughout every step of the process.
What Can A Trust Administration Attorney Do For You?
As experts in trust management and estate law, there are countless benefits to working with an attorney.
If you have been appointed trustee, you may be confused about your role, responsibilities, and where even to start. It’s common for people to many questions about their role as trustee: What does a trustee do? How do I manage the assets within a trust? When it is time for the trust to be distributed, what is my role?
While these questions can create a feeling of overwhelm, there is no need to stress. Being named trustee does come with many responsibilities, but choosing to work with a management of assets attorney can give you peace of mind knowing that you have an experienced professional on your side to help ensure that everything goes smoothly.
An attorney can help you:
- File the trust
- File taxes associated with the estate
- Protect and manage assets
- Distribute assets within the trust
- Communicate terms and details about the trust to beneficiaries
- Initiate changes of title
- Appraise assets
- Keep a record of all trust activity
- And more . . .
With so much to consider, it’s clear why an attorney is such a vital resource throughout the trust administration process.
Whether you are seeking counsel for initial concerns, or are looking for a professional to help you oversee every aspect of trust administration, reaching out to a lawyer is the first step toward streamlining the process.
What Are The Duties Of A Trustee?
A trustee is the legal owner of all the assets included in a trust. They will have a number of duties that are outlined in the trust documents and determined by the laws of the state of Texas.
To perform their duties correctly and completely, a trustee must have a complete understanding of their role according to the trust and the law. Texas laws regarding trustee duties remain the same, but a trust’s terms may change from case to case.
In Texas, there are five main duties of a trustee:
- Duty of Loyalty
- Duty of Competency
- Duty to Act Personally
- Duty to Consider the Beneficiaries
- Duty of Full Disclosure
The best way to learn more about each of these duties – and gain insight into the duties particular to the terms of the trust you are responsible for – is to schedule a consultation! Each case is unique, and a consultation will allow you to find answers specific to your situation.
Winters Law Firm
I understand that choosing the best lawyer for your trust administration needs is no small undertaking. My firm is focused on finding opportunities to make families stronger and provide legal solutions that provide long-term benefits.
If you are interested in speaking to an attorney who will prioritize your needs and ensure that your goals are met, please don’t hesitate to contact Winters Law Firm in Round Rock, TX, to schedule a consultation today!
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