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Trust Administration

Trust Administration

Miami Estate Planning Lawyer: (305) 600-5677

When an individual has successfully created a living trust and they eventually pass, the successor trustee will take over management of the decedent's assets in order to pay the decedent's debts, pay taxes and distribute assets to the appropriate beneficiaries.

While there is no formal probate, it is essential that the trustee adhere to their fiduciary duties and act in the best interests of the estate and the beneficiaries.

Beyond the specific requirements set forth in the trust, the trustee will be responsible for:

  • Notifying the decedent's beneficiaries of the trust and their right to view the trust;
  • Identifying the decedent's creditors and paying all outstanding bills;
  • Diligently keeping detailed records and providing a periodic accounting to each beneficiary;
  • Filing the decedent's taxes;
  • Distributing all remaining assets to the beneficiaries in a timely fashion; and
  • Acting in the best interests of the beneficiaries and the estate at all times.

The trustee has a great responsibility to act ethically and honorably. If one of the beneficiaries believes the trustee is not complying with one of the terms in the trust or if they believe the trustee is otherwise failing in their fiduciary duties, then the beneficiary may opt to challenge the trustee in court.

When this happens the court can demand that the trustee produce a full report and accounting in order to address the alleged breach of trust and such action can lead to having the trustee removed from their duties or they can be held financially and legally liable for any damage done to the estate.

Contact a Coral Gables trust attorney today!

Since the average person has little to no experience as a trustee, it is always advised to consult with a an attorney when you have been given this important responsibility. With over 45 years' experience as a Miami probate attorney with an AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell® (the highest rating given to an attorney), I can clearly advise you of all of your rights and responsibilities as a trustee and guide you through every step of the process. I understand the value of your role as a trustee and I want to help make sure that you perform your duties to the best of your abilities all the while providing you with legal protection.

Contact me at (350) 600-5677 to find out how I can help things go as smoothly as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I create a trust? You should create a trust for multiple reasons. Trusts can help you avoid certain types of taxes. If you create an irrevocable life insurance trust, for example, protects your death benefit proceeds from estate taxes. You may also be able to avoid the probate process by keeping certain property out of your estate. You can create certain conditions and terms for trusts, in order to protect your estate, as well. You can also leave money for charities and institutions in a trust, along with fund your child or grandchildren's education.
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