Do I have to hire a trust administration attorney to help me through the trust administration process?
No, technically you don’t have to hire an estate planning attorney to guide you in your role as trustee while settling a trust. We’ve often found that because trusts don’t go through probate court, many people feel like they can handle it on their own, or that because things were left in a trust and we don’t have to go to probate court, the process is automatic or there’s not really a formal process to go through. Unfortunately, that mindset can create big issues in the future if the trust is not properly administered.We encourage everyone who finds himself taking on the role as successor trustee to sit down and speak with an estate planning attorney in San Diego they trust so that we can cover a few things.
The first is we want to make sure that you know exactly what you should be doing in your role as successor trustee. You know your duties. You know your obligations. You know the liability that you face. And of course that you’re taking the right steps to properly administer the trust and adhere to the wishes within.
The second thing, and really the important thing from a successor trustee perspective is you want to make sure that you’re shedding liability along the way. You’re checking all the right boxes, taking all of the statutorily required steps so that no one can sue you for this role in the future. This is an often overlooked thing, but it’s a big thing that you should be checking in your role as successor trustee.
The third is that the administrative process is done in the most tax advantaged way possible. There’s lots of things that you can do slightly wrong that totally changes the tax picture during the trust administration process, so you want to make sure you have some professional guidance along the way to keep things moving in the most efficient way possible.
Now, if you find yourself in the role of successor trustee and you need some help with any of these things: what you’re supposed to be doing, really understanding the role, making sure that liability is taken off of your shoulders along the way and making sure you’re doing everything in the most tax advantage way possible, always feel free to to contact us. Give us a call, send us an email, send us a text. Would be happy to sit down with you and look at what you’ve done so far or what you need to do going forward and explain to you what your role is. Put together a framework for all of the boxes you should check along the way.
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