What is Estate Administration?
Any time a trustee must take control of an estate, whether the person who created the trust has passed away or is merely unable to handle his/her own affairs anymore, this is called "Estate Administration". An acting trustee faces many challenges from real estate to financial affairs to medical decisions. We are here to help you understand your responsibilities, comply with the law and keep everyone happy. The largest mistake many trustees make is not understanding the law and attempting to navigate the process on their own.
Most times, the administration of an estate includes the sale of one or more properties. Selling a property that is part of a trust is very different than selling a property owned by an individual.
There are heightened requirements, additional forms and specific laws involved in the sale of a property from a trust; this may overwhelm the average real estate agent.
By using our firm, you will get the benefit of our legal expertise along with our real estate services. We will help you save time, protect yourself and make the process as seamless as possible.
Every estate includes some form of financial assets; i.e. checking and savings accounts, investment accounts, stocks, mutual funds, etc. Not only is every account different, but every banking institution is different. As a trustee, you will have to follow the guidelines of the trust, comply with the laws of the state and fulfill all the requirements placed upon you by the individual financial institution you are dealing with.
It is extremely important that this process is handled correctly. Partnering with a law firm to assist you in the estate administration will ensure that you have met the endless requirements placed upon you.
The law requires that a trustee provide an "accounting" of assets to all trust beneficiaries. This accounting includes a summary of all financial assets of the trust, debts owed, tax liability, appraisals of real estate and a summary of all other personal/tangible items.
Preparing this accounting can be complex and time consuming. This however, is one of the most crucial components of the entire process. If the accounting is not done properly, you could find yourself involved in conflict with family or even in court!
After a person who established a trust passes away, the trustee must "terminate" the trust. This means that the trustee must distribute the assets and close out the trust.
Termination of a trust includes several steps: preparing an accounting, sending notice to beneficiaries, liquidating assets, satisfying debts, obtaining appraisals, filing taxes, obtaining consents, closing out accounts & much much more.
It is difficult to understand the legal requirements of termination and knowing what order to complete each step. Our firm will assist you in completing this process in the most efficient and least painful manner possible.