How a Trust Administration Attorney Can Help You Make an Informed Decision
Certain conditions must be met for beneficiaries to receive the distribution of assets following the death of one or both settlors of a revocable living trust. Trust administration is the essential process to ensure all requirements are met for the trust to become effective. For decades, trust administration attorneys, Shawn D. Garner and Adam D. Hansen, and the team at Deason Garner & Hansen Law Firm have helped heirs receive their inheritances in a timely and efficient manner. We understand the sensitivity, delicacy and importance of these matters and treat our clients with the utmost respect while offering sensible legal counsel. We work to help our clients make the most informed decisions possible.
What Is a Trust Administration?
When an individual drafts a trust document, they are putting their assets in the hands of another person to manage them for the sake of beneficiaries in a contractual relationship. This process typically takes between two and six months and is best handled with legal counsel, not necessarily because it is difficult to do, but because knowing what to do is not always obvious. Our team protects trustees from liability by guiding them through the process. We know what notices they must send to beneficiaries, what consents they must receive from them and more. Laws governing trust administrations often change, and we have the ability to react in kind.
What Is the Difference Between a Trust Administration and a Probate?
A probate is a court-supervised process that determines the transfer of property from a decedent (an individual who has died) to the beneficiaries identified in their last will; or, if they died without a will, to their heirs. Probates and trust administrations differ in a few ways, including:
- Cost – When someone who owns money, stocks or property dies, their family must present their will to the court, which will then appoint a representative to handle administration of the estate in a process called a probate. Attorney fees are based on the gross value of assets. Further, court filing fees, publication of notice of death, and other procedures are costs that must be considered.
- Time – An average probate will likely take a year or more, whereas a trust administration typically requires only two to six months.
- Privacy – Anyone can read a court file. A court file lists assets and their values, and contains names and addresses of relatives and beneficiaries. A trust administration is a much more private process.
We strive to provide straightforward and clear legal advice to our clients so they can make the most informed decisions possible.
Duties of a Trustee
A trustee has a number of important duties, including:
- Follow terms of the trust – The trustee must fully comprehend and follow requests outlined in the document. This can include, for example, making regular payments to beneficiaries for medical and living expenses.
- Act in the best interest of the trust – It is not the interests of the trustee that matters; rather, it is the interests of the trust that takes precedence. The trustee must avoid conflicts of interest, self-loans and any other behavior that could jeopardize the trust.
- Act as a safeguard of assets – The trustee will invest the trust’s assets to protect its value.
- Pay taxes and expenses – Trust income, bond expenses and any other expense is the responsibility of the trustee.
The Deason Garner & Hansen Law Firm Advantage
Finding honest, committed and trustworthy legal representation often feels like an insurmountable task. At Deason Garner & Hansen Law Firm, we provide all of that and more. When you visit our office, we will sit down with you and discuss your specific needs and tailor a plan to achieve your goals. We strive to provide straightforward and clear legal advice to our clients so they can make the most informed decisions possible. We always provide an honest evaluation, and we have decades of experience in handling trust administrations in Yuma, Arizona. Finally, we keep current on changes to the law to ensure your heirs will receive their inheritances in full and in a timely fashion.
Contact Deason Garner & Hansen Law Firm
If you are interested in establishing a trust, we can help. You can schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys by contacting us online or by calling us at (928) 783-4575 and speaking with a member of our team.