How Can A Trust Administration Lawyer Help?
Sometimes you might hear the terms trust and will interchangeably and although they serve similar functions, there are some key differences. The biggest difference between a trust and a will is that a trust can help your beneficiaries (such as your surviving family members) avoid the probate process once you pass away. Trusts are also kept private and out of any public records and can help your family avoid higher taxes. Trusts are especially useful when you have a bigger estate and/or more assets to account for and distribute after your death.
However, trusts aren’t without their downsides. The biggest downsides of having trusts are that they can be far more complicated and can also be more expensive. Their complexity requires greater finesse and while it’s possible to write your own trust, it’s far from recommended. Instead having a trust administration lawyer on your side can help with both drafting trust and ensuring it’s reinforced after you pass away.
Ways a Trust Administration Lawyer Can Help with Drafting
There are many ways a trust administration lawyer can help with drafting your trust. When drafting your trust you’ll want to include the following elements:
- How you want your estate divided
- Who you will name as the beneficiaries
- The overall timeframe you want your estate distributed
- For young children or adult children that have special needs, having terms that protect them.
- Including ways to protect your wealth/legacy from beneficiaries or creditors looking to misuse your wealth/legacy.
Your attorney will also help you know the different kinds of trusts and determine which one is the best for you and your situation. Different types of trusts might include:
- Revocable and irrevocable
- Charitable remainder trusts
- Credit shelter trusts
- Generation-skipping trusts
Other Ways a Trust Administration Lawyer Can Help
Besides the actual drafting of your trust, you’ll want to be sure that your trust is properly exercised after your passing away/incapacitation. Many people like to choose a trustee successor who’s tasked with handling your estate/assets after your death. However, sometimes it’s better to leave this task to a professional such as a professional fiduciary.
An attorney can assist your professional fiduciary or successor trustee. Whether you’re leaving your estate in the hands of an organization, professional fiduciary, or your beneficiary, ways a trust administration lawyer can assist them to include:
- Ensuring your trust is complying with both state and federal laws.
- Managing your entire trust including assessing property values, resolving any outstanding bills, filing taxes, reporting any gains and losses, etc.
- Distributing all your assets to the necessary beneficiaries.
- Any litigation actions when and if they’re required.
- Notifying beneficiaries as well as the right government entities/organizations after a person’s death–including banks, credit card companies, Social Security Administration, the Department of Health, etc.
With so much that goes into drafting and implementing a trust, having a trust administration lawyer will ensure that everything operates smoothly. Our friends at Carpenter & Lewis PLLC have a team of attorneys ready to assist!