Estate and Trust Administration

Trust administration mainly refers to the actions of a successor trustee who manages a trust after the disability or death of the original grantor and trustee. Trusts are a common tool used in elder law and estate planning. A trust can be quite complex, as it is drafted to handle a lifetime of scenarios. 

If you are named as a successor trustee, you should first obtain the original or a copy of the trust and read it. It is essential that the trustee understand the trust document as it outlines the responsibilities and operational terms of the trust. The trustee is required to follow the terms of the trust. As a fiduciary, they must act solely in the interest of the beneficiaries and the trust and avoid any conflicts of interest. Retaining the services of an experienced attorney to assist the trustee helps them understand the requirements of their role and administer them correctly.

A trust administration is NOT a court-supervised process but transfers property to beneficiaries outside of probate. Many things must be done to ensure proper administration. In general, a trustee must:

  • Manage trust assets, debts, expenses, and ongoing bills
  • Document all financial activities involving the trust
  • Invest the assets of the trust to protect its value
  • Pay valid debts and tax liabilities, filing a final income tax return for the decedent or fiduciary tax returns
  • Distribute the trust assets to the beneficiaries after all of the above has been completed

If a dispute arises between beneficiaries regarding the distribution of property, an estate planning attorney can help resolve disputes to avoid litigation.

You don’t have to do this alone. Have an estate planning attorney work with a CPA to cover your obligations. They can guide you through the process and your role as trustee. Elder Law & Estate Planning Attorneys of Illinois, LLC has assisted numerous successor trustees in handling the trust administration in a variety of scenarios and resolved issues between beneficiaries.

The experienced team at Elder Law & Estate Planning Attorneys of Illinois, LLC guides you in selecting the proper estate planning tools for your situation. Each attorney has unique skills in the broad field of estate planning, including long-term care planning, guardianship, estate and trust administration, and probate litigation in Illinois. Schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys to protect what matters for your family.

CONTACT US or call (847)253-7500 to schedule an appointment.

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