Putting Your Estate Plan Into Action
A loved one’s passing is felt by their entire surviving family. But when it comes to carrying out someone’s final wishes, not everyone has an equal say. The trustee, and typically the trustee alone, is in charge of managing, investing, and distributing the trust’s accounts and property according to the instructions in the trust document. If you are the executor of your loved one’s estate or the trustee of their trust, there are some things you need to know..
If you are the named trustee over someone’s trust, you are responsible for ensuring that the trust administration goes according to plan as laid out in your loved one’s trust, ideally with the assistance of a lawyer. This is one of the many places we can help you navigate the work involved with properly administering a trust.
Key Parties in the Trust
Wills and trusts are estate planning tools that allow people to transfer their accounts and property to others when they pass away. It is possible to have both a will and a trust that are part of a larger estate plan. Although wills and trusts are different kinds of documents, they use similar language to identify the key parties involved in asset distribution. Understanding the key parties will help you to better understand everyone’s role in the administration.
- The testator is the person who creates a last will and testament to be carried out upon their death.
- The grantor (also called a settlor, trustmaker, or trustor) is the person who creates a trust.
- The executor (or personal representative) is the person appointed to fulfill the wishes of the testator in accordance with their will. Usually, the testator chooses the executor when they create a will. But if a person dies without a will, the state where they lived may choose the executor.
- The trustee is the person who administers the trust on behalf of the trustor.
- A beneficiary is a person (or business entity, such as a charity) who receives accounts or property from a will or trust.
- An heir is someone entitled to receive a decedent’s property under a state’s default laws when the decedent dies without a will.
Another important term to understand in the context of will and trust administration is “fiduciary.” A fiduciary is somebody granted legal authority to act in the interests of another. Executors and trustees are fiduciaries. They have been given legal authority by the grantor or the court to carry out the distribution of the estate accounts and property. A fiduciary’s legal duty extends beyond the estate. Fiduciaries must also act in the best interests of beneficiaries.
Trust and Estate Administration Services
Below are some of our most common trust and estate administration services. We can accomplish the following duties without unnecessary delay and with the utmost respect for your personal privacy and your family relationships.
- Identification, collection, and determination of values of assets
- Communicating with beneficiaries
- Advice as to jointly held assets, life insurance, and retirement benefits that pass outside a will or trust
- Notifying all heirs and beneficiaries of the trust or estate
- Payment of all debts, expenses, and taxes from estate and trust assets, with submission of regular accountings
- Preparation of state and federal, gift, generation-skipping transfer, and gift tax returns
Our primary objective is to make this process as easy as possible for you, and minimize the impact of going to court, while also keeping your family out of conflict and preserving those important relationships.
Trust & Estate Administration Lawyers in Aurora, Colorado
Contact The Law Office of Anna L. Burr
No matter how complex the trust or estate administration process may be, the lawyers at The Law Office of Anna L. Burr will guide you every step of the way. We’ll work closely with personal representatives, executors, beneficiaries, and other fiduciaries to ensure the terms of the trust are carried out properly. At the same time, we’ll make the process as understandable and stress-free as possible for the trustee.