Trust Administration Attorney in Lehi
Serving Families in Their Time of Need
Trust administration is a specialized area of estate law that deals with the management and distribution of assets held in a trust. Trusts are arrangements in which an individual, known as a trustee, holds assets on behalf of another person or entity, known as the beneficiary. Trusts are often established by an individual's will, but they can also be created during that individual's lifetime. A trust administration attorney can help you understand the responsibilities of being a trustee and the options for distributing assets to the beneficiary.
What Does a Trustee Do?
The primary responsibility of a trustee is to manage the assets held in trust on behalf of the beneficiary. This includes making investments and distributions of income to support the beneficiary's lifestyle. The trustee is also responsible for paying taxes and expenses associated with trust administration.
The trustee is typically the only individual who has access to the trust's financial records. This is to protect the beneficiary from potential fraud or the unauthorized distribution of assets.
Distributing Trust Assets
Trust assets typically consist of real estate, stocks, bonds, and other financial investments. A trustee must decide how to distribute these assets to the beneficiary. There are several options for this distribution, depending on the type of trust and the beneficiary's needs.
One option is to hold the trust property in "frozen" form, meaning that the trustee refuses to make any distributions. This can be done if the trust property is not yet ready to be distributed, or if the beneficiary is not yet old enough to receive the assets. This option can also be used if the trustee is concerned about the beneficiary's ability to manage the property.
Another option is to distribute the trust property to a beneficiary's "custodian" or "custodial account." This is an arrangement in which the trustee holds the trust property in an account on the beneficiary's behalf. The beneficiary can access this account to make purchases, but the trustee retains control over how the trust property is invested. This can protect the beneficiary from making poor investments with the trust property.
Finally, the trustee may decide to distribute the trust property to a "trustee-controlled trust." In this arrangement, the trust property is transferred to a separate trust that is controlled by the trustee. This can be done to protect the beneficiary from making poor investments, or to allow the beneficiary to invest the trust property in a way that is not authorized by the trustee. The trustee can then distribute the trust property to the beneficiary at a later date.
Managing the Trust Administration Process
The trustee is responsible for maintaining the trust's records and reporting to the beneficiary on the trust's financial status. This can include accounting for the trust's income and expenses, filing tax returns, and managing the trust's investments. The trustee may also need to obtain appraisals of trust property and pay for property management services.
The trustee must also decide when to distribute trust property to the beneficiary. This is a complicated decision, as it involves balancing the beneficiary's needs with the trust property's long-term growth potential. The trustee must also make sure that the beneficiary is old enough to receive the trust property and is able to manage the property.
Contact a Trust Administration Attorney
Trust administration is a specialized area of estate law that deals with the management and distribution of assets held in a trust. Trusts are often established by an individual's will, but they can also be created during that individual's lifetime. A trust administration attorney can help you understand the responsibilities of being a trustee and the options for distributing assets to the beneficiary.
If you are the trustee of an estate held in trust, be sure to contact Gibson Law Firm at (877) 540-4416 to schedule a consultation.