Trust Administration A most important element of any trust are the individuals or institutions named as to serve as Trustee or Successor Trustee. In Family Trusts, people usually name themselves and/or a spouse to manage their trust during their lifetime.
Executor of Estate - Personal Representative When someone dies, those closest to the deceased are faced not only with grief and loss, but also with numerous responsibilities and the unfamiliar task of handling the deceased person's estate. A Last Will usually names a Personal Representative, also known as Executor of the Estate who will be in charge of these duties, from arranging funeral services to distributing inheritances.
Conservatorship If a person of any age is unable to manage his or her own finances or is determined by the court be vulnerable to exploitation, someone else needs to step in to make sure everyday financial matters are taken care of, such as rent and utility payments, deposit pension checks and other income, etc.
Power of Attorney Power of Attorney comes in effect when a person is permanently or temporarily unable to handle legal or financial affairs. With a Power of Attorney (POA) you transfer the right to make certain decisions for you to another person. The POA can be limited in time and scope or be all-encompassing with no time limit.
Trust Administration by Experienced Private Fiduciary
Trust administration is the hands-on management and/or distribution of trust assets. Depending on the nature of the trust, the administration can be extremely time consuming, requiring a serious commitment to trust matters for months and even years.
Trustees routinely make decisions concerning proper placement of investments, real estate management and/or sales, household articles, collectibles and antiques, income and estate taxes, tax consequences of various transactions, dealing with attorneys and courts, and responding to beneficiaries, their attorneys and and possible legal challenges to the trust. When choosing a trustee or successor trustee, consider only individuals with the background and skills to handle the trust and who are prepared to devote the time demanded by the administration.
Depending on the nature of the trust assets, trust administration includes some or all of the following:
- formally accept trustee position and prepare necessary legal documents
- inventory trust assets
- notify beneficiaries of the trust
- stop services, utilities, subscriptions, etc.
- notify pension plans, government, etc.
- deal with government and/or legal authorities in other countries where applicable
- secure and insure trust assets such as vacant homes, parked cars, etc. during administration period
- determine fair market value of real estate, collectibles, jewelry, antiques, furniture, household articles
- hire appraisers, auctioneers, or specialists to determine value of the various assets
- auction assets where trust calls for it
- collect income from various sources and deposit to trust bank accounts
- notify life insurance and collect benefits
- merge bank accounts for easier record keeping
- change title on trust assets
- rent or lease properties belonging to the trust
- sell real property belonging to the trust
- sell and/or buy stocks, bonds, mutual funds
- consolidate investments or diversify investments to preserve principal
- place investments with a professional money manager if the trust is to provide long-term income
- manage or sell any businesses owned by the trust
- pay off medical bills where applicable, other creditors, loans, notes
- pay expenses of the administration, such as attorneys, appraisers, accountants, trustee
- decide on tax strategies and/or options to minimize estate taxes
- prepare estate tax return and pay estate taxes if applicable
- prepare fiduciary income tax returns
- send out periodic information, statements and/or accountings to beneficiaries
- make distributions to beneficiaries
- transfer trust assets to beneficiaries where trust calls for it
- set up sub trust where applicable and obtain tax ID numbers
- confer and work with professionals in other states if trust assets are outside of Arizona
- respond to any legal challenges from beneficiaries or relatives of the deceased person
- comply with Arizona state laws, other state laws and federal laws where applicable
To avoid problems, delays, and possible legal challenges during trust administration, be sure to name a competent fiduciary who has the necessary experience and skills to deal with your particular trust.
Kurt Tittelbach, licensed Arizona fiduciary at Premier Fiduciary Services in Scottsdale has experience in managing large and complex trusts. He is availed to serve as trustee or successor trustee of revocable or irrevocable trusts large or small. He will also consider administration of smaller trusts which are rejected by institutional trustees because they don't meet minimum asset requirements.
Whether you already have a trust, or are in the planning stages for a new trust and looking for an experienced trustee or successor trustee, please give us a call. All trusts are different. We offer free no-obligation consultations to discuss your particular situation and how we could be of service to you. For a face-to face meeting you do not need to travel. We'd be happy to meet with you in the comfort of your home.
We do not give legal advice! If you are planning to establish a trust to avoid the cost or delays of probate or to make the management and/or distribution of your assets easier during illness or after your passing, we suggest you contact an attorney specializing in trust and estate planning.
From Phoenix metro area call: 602-334-4084
From outside Phoenix, call tollfree: 1-866-616-7828
Kurt Tittelbach, at Premier Fiduciary Services LLC, trustee or successor trustee, in Scottsdale, Glendale, Peoria, Surprise, Sun City, Sun City West, Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Cave Creek, Care Free, Fountain Hills.