A trust is one of the most powerful tools in an estate planner’s toolbox. When properly designed and adequately funded, they can accomplish a wide range of goals. Many people believe that once they have created a trust and funded it, the trust will simply go into effect automatically when the time comes. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Trusts must be properly administered to ensure that the trustmaker’s wishes are carried out.
At LifePlan Nebraska, most of our estate administration clients are our estate planning clients. However, there are also times when someone has a plan drafted by another attorney, and when it comes time to administer that plan, they would like some help. That’s where we come in. We help make a complex process simple, easy, and worry-free.
Our role is to represent the executor or trustee in the administration of a decedent’s estate. When a loved one passes away with a trust in place (or one created under a will), there are number of steps that need to be taken for proper administration of the estate. These steps include filings with the court, state taxing authorities, and the Internal Revenue Service.
In addition, certain people need to be notified in accordance with law. After that, the executor is responsible for opening bank accounts, settling creditor claims, paying the final expenses of the decedent, arranging for the sale of assets – all the while, proper accounting needs to be maintained and provided to the beneficiaries.
Given that failure to properly administer a trust can have serious financial and legal consequences for the trustee or executor, the decision to serve in this capacity should not be taken lightly. If you have been asked to do so, we can explain the risks in clear, easy-to-understand language. If you decide not to accept the role of trustee or executor, we can help you select the appropriate person or persons. If you wish to serve as trustee or executor, we can offer guidance and peace-of-mind that you’re taking the right steps in the right order. In addition, we welcome the opportunity to work closely with any of your existing personal representatives and other fiduciaries to ensure the directives of the trust are carried out appropriately.
Call us to schedule a consultation to learn how we can guide you through this difficult time in your life.