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.