The Law Office of Mahogany Taylor
What is a Trust?
A trust is actually more like a corporation than anything else. It’s a separate legal entity that can own the assets of a person during their lifetime and provide for management of those assets if that person becomes incapacitated or after their death. Because it’s a separate entity, the people who are named to manage those assets don’t have to go to court and get permission when the time comes.
Advantages of a Trust
There are two main benefits of a trust. For the type of trust that we use for estate planning, first, during the person’s lifetime, if they become incapacitated, someone else can step in for them and manage their assets, pay their bills, liquidate assets and re-invest them without having to get permission from a court. Second, after the person’s death, the successor trustee can distribute the assets according to the person’s instructions, which operates much like a will except the trustee doesn’t have to go to court to get permission to do so. So, the trust avoids both conservatorship during one’s lifetime and probate after death. There are not really any disadvantages to the trust except that it takes some time and effort to get it set up and to transfer assets into it so that the trust owns the assets.
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How Long Does The Initial Trust Administration Take?
It can take anywhere from two to typically about six months.
Can Someone Handle Trust Administration Without Legal Counsel?
Probably not. The reason isn’t that it’s so difficult to do; the reason is that you just don’t know what to do. There are different notices that have to be given, there are different processes that have to be followed with selling property, and it’s just not something that they would know how to do. It’s not that it’s complicated, but they do need guidance
Additional Information About Trusts And Trust Administration
Another reason you would want to have an attorney representing the trustee is to protect the trustee from liability. Attorneys know what kinds of notices to send to beneficiaries and what kinds of consents to get from them so that nothing pops up down the road that will cause a liability for the trustee and get them in trouble for not following through on something. So, having the assistance of an attorney can be invaluable in that regard. This is especially so if any of the beneficiaries hire their own attorney to represent them, which is not a bad idea, so it would be much better to have those two attorneys deal with each other than to have a trustee who is inexperienced trying to deal with an attorney on the other side.
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Have you been named a beneficiary of a trust or a will? The probate process as well as the administration of a Trust can be complex, confusing and overwhelming. I am committed to helping clients overcome issues that arise when family members are handling the financial affairs of a deceased loved one. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me via phone, email, or the contact form provided.