Trust Administration

Trust Administration

When a trust is formed, the creator of the trust determines how the assets are to be distributed at the time of his or her death. The trust will also specify a trustee – often a family member or close friend, or occasionally a corporate trustee or private fiduciary – to carry out the wishes of the trustor.

Upon the death of the trustor, the trustee will be responsible for several aspects of trust administration, including, but not limited to providing notice and copies of the trust in a specified format to all beneficiaries and heirs, notifying appropriate state agencies; filing an estate tax return, if necessary; notifying county agencies of the death of a real property owner; requesting a taxpayer identification number from the Internal Revenue Service; establishing a trust administration bank account to collect assets; mediating disputes between beneficiaries and family members not named as beneficiaries, etc.

This process is can prove to be complicated, exhausting, and overwhelming, but it is still more private, efficient, and straightforward than the court-supervised probate process.

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