Trust Administration Melbourne, FL Turns To
The main purpose for creating a Trust is the avoidance of having to file probate case in the event of a loved one’s passing. While this can certainly eliminate a great deal of hassle, trust administration still requires a great deal of leg work when considering the legal responsibilities of notifying all beneficiaries and communicating with them regarding assets.
Organizing and managing the execution of the estate with beneficiaries can be tricky. In order to maximize your fiduciary duty, it is strongly recommended that you retain a lawyer experienced with trust administration in Melbourne, FL to assist you with these tasks. Beneficiaries have a right to be notified as to assets, sale of properties and a list of inventoried items.
Trust administration in Melbourne, FL can be lengthy on its own; however, when you factor a number of beneficiaries into the equation, notifications, receipt of assets, inventory items and sale of the Estate assets, it can become overwhelming quickly.
The Process Overview
Trust administration generally starts with the mandatory notice to all beneficiaries and the settlors’ heirs.
After receiving this notice, the beneficiary has a certain amount of days — depending on the jurisdiction — to file a trust contest. Essentially, this means that they take issue with one or more ways in which the trust is being executed. If no contest is filed within this time period, the beneficiary may surrender his or her ability to file it.
If the trust holds real property, the title will need to bestowed on the successor trustee to ensure that the property will be handled according to the settlor’s wishes. In experienced Melbourne, FL trust administration, this means an affidavit will be recorded with a certified copy of the death certificate against each real property held in a living trust. That way, the property’s title transfers from the deceased settlor to the new trustees. Additionally, a “change of ownership” form is typically recorded simultaneously with the affidavit. If the trust transfers real property from parents or children by any means exempt from property tax reassessment, the trustee must complete the proper exemption form. Correctly filing this documentation can save the surviving children a great deal of undue expense, so it is therefore recommended that an attorney help prepare these documents to ensure their accuracy and proper filing.
Once the real property has been handled, the trustee will need to ascertain all other trust assets, such as bank and investment accounts, and transfer the title of those assets into the trustee’s name as the successor trustee. Additionally, the successor trustee is responsible for the settlor’s debts and is often required to satisfy his or her liabilities. When it comes to taxes, this process can be particularly complicated because both estate and income taxes may be owed depending on the size of the estate. The calculations to determine exemptions and requirements from both state and federal taxes in this kind of situation are incredibly complex, and can be made more difficult by the size of larger estate. Hiring an attorney to assist with trust administration in Melbourne, FL can help alleviate a great deal of the stress caused by the complex nature of trust execution.
If that weren’t enough to sort out, most jurisdictions require that the trustee keep a detailed accounting of the trust. This commonly involves using trust finances to close up any outstanding decedent affairs, overseeing all trust activity, including deposits and distributions from the trust, and reviewing the each and every trust related document to determine the appropriate mode of accounting. It’s obvious that a skilled attorney can be an incredible asset during this time, to help keep the trust and estate organized while the family takes care of concluding their own affairs.
Once the trust has made it to this phase of the general process — assets have been collected, debts paid, tax returns filed, and liabilities fulfilled — the remain trust assets are distributed. The terms of the trust document will order how the trust assets should be dispersed among the beneficiaries.
Common Mistakes Made When Setting Up a Trust
Creating a trust has the ability to provide you with a variety of benefits. Not only can it give you the ability to make sure your wishes are carried out as you desire, but it can also secure your wealth for your loved ones. Although setting up a trust can help to work to your benefit, moving forward with the creation of a trust on your own can be disastrous. Contact a Melbourne, FL trust administration attorney for the help you need to avoid these common mistakes made when creating a trust:
Mistake #1: Appointing the Wrong Trustee
Once you have created the trust, you will have the important task of identifying a trustee to oversee it. In some cases, you may name yourself as the trustee until the time comes to pass it over to your successor trustee. The trustee you appoint should be someone who is willing and able to take on this great role. Should you appoint the wrong person, things can go terribly wrong. There are a number of ways this may occur. For example, the person you appoint could be unwilling to take on their role when the time comes, or, they may be someone who is not equipped with the skills in order to do so. A lawyer with experience in trust administration Melbourne, FL can help guide you through this process.
Mistake #2: Setting Up the Wrong Trust
There are a number of trust options to choose from, most of which will vary depending upon your unique situation. A lawyer can prove to be essential in helping you to choose the right type of trust based on your personal situation. Setting up the wrong type of trust can result in it providing you with little of the benefits they have the potential of providing to you and your loved ones. A trust can offer a number of benefits, including:
- Protecting assets from probate
- Tax savings
- Ensuring your assets are distributed to beneficiaries as you want them
- Keep your assets private
Mistake #3: Failing to Fund the Trust
The act of creating a trust is only the first part of the process. For the trust to actually work to your benefit, you will need to transfer your assets into the trust. Without the assets in the trust, your beneficiaries will not be able to access the funds in the way you had intended. A lawyer who specializes in trust administration Melbourne, FL can assist in helping you to transfer assets into seamlessly.
Mistake #4: Creating it, and Forgetting It
Don’t just create your trust and leave it until the day finally comes for it to take effect. Although it would be nice to have the ability to create a trust and leave it, it’s not beneficial. It’s important that you take the time to regularly review your trust over time to make the necessary updates or changes as your situation calls for.
Making mistakes in the creation of your trust shouldn’t be something you worry over. The last thing you want is to make a mistake when creating your trust. However, a lawyer specializing in trust administration Melbourne, FL has the experience to safeguard you from making some of these common mistakes by helping you to create your trust correctly from the start.
Trust administration Melbourne, FL families can rely on can be difficult to find. That’s why it’s important to discuss your affairs with a compassionate and experienced attorney from Arcadier, Biggie & Wood, PLLC today.