Trusts are often an important part of an inheritance plan or estate plan. A trust can make it possible for assets to transfer through the trust administration process, which is a process by which money and property can be officially transferred to new owners outside of the probate process.
The trust administration process can be faster, more private and less costly than the probate process and it allows heirs or beneficiaries to inherit much more quickly. You should talk with an experienced attorney about whether trusts should be part of your inheritance plan so you can determine what the benefits of trust creation may be for you and your loved ones.
If you do not make an estate plan to transfer assets outside of the probate process, assets will generally transfer through trust administration. However, you can make an inheritance plan using trusts and other tools to avoid probate or to reduce the value of assets that transfer through that process.
When you use trusts as part of your incapacity plan, you can facilitate the transfer of assets through the trust administration process instead of the probate process, which makes it possible for those assets to be transferred much more quickly and more cost effectively to new owners.
Although the trust administration process is more streamlined, faster and simpler than the probate process, there are still many specific New York trust administration steps that must be completed by the trust administrator.
Some of the trust administration steps include inventorying assets within the trust, obtaining a valuation of the assets that the trust owns, filing all required income tax forms, and notifying beneficiaries of the trust administration process.
Finally, the most important part of the process involves the distribution of the assets that are held within the trust to the new owners who were designated as beneficiaries. The instructions that were provided in the trust document must be followed carefully throughout this trust administration process, especially when it comes to transferring trust assets.
When you are asked to serve as a trustee, you may be honored that the trust creator has chosen you to fulfill this role and feels that you would be competent to carry out all of the tasks that trustees must fulfill. However, it is very important to think carefully and making an informed decision about whether you should agree to be a trustee or not.
Serving as a trustee is not just a ceremonial position. You have legal obligations under the law and you are entrusted with a great deal of responsibility when you serve as the trustee. You have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the trust beneficiaries and you also have an obligation to appropriately manage the assets that are held within the trust. Distribution of the trust assets will also fall to you, along with addressing tax issues.
While an experienced attorney can assist you in completing the requirements of being a trustee and in fulfilling your duties as a trustee, you will still have to be involved in administering the trust and this can be a time consuming and stressful process. Before you decide that you want to accept the position and serve as a trustee, you should talk with a lawyer about exactly what this will involve.
A trustee is the person who a trust creator chooses to be in charge of taking care of trust assets. The trustee has many important obligations, and it is important that the trust creator understands what the trustee will do. The person who is serving in this role also must understand key trustee duties carrying out trust terms, making distributions and keeping track of trust accounting.
The trust administrator should have a trust administration lawyer because the administrator has many complex legal obligations and has a fiduciary duty to the trust beneficiaries. An attorney can help the administrator to ensure that all of his obligations are fulfilled and that the trust administration process moves as swiftly and efficiently as possible.
For heirs or beneficiaries, it is their inheritance at stake during the trust administration process, so those who have been named as beneficiaries and who will inherit trust assets will want to be represented by an experienced attorney so they can ensure that the trust administrator is following the rules and doing everything correctly throughout the process.