Suffering the loss of a loved one is a stressful and difficult time. It is challenging enough without the responsibility of making important financial decisions that have an enormous effect on your family for many years. If you have been asked to oversee the administration of an estate and its trusts, you should know what is involved before agreeing to do so. If you have already been named as a trustee and the person that named you has died, it is imperative that you receive counsel from an attorney that practices in this area.
Serving as a trustee involves a huge level of responsibility and liability. Often those who are named as a trustee have limited, if any, background or experience in the legal and financial duties that come with administering a trust. Cheever Law, APC is here to work with the trustee to ensure that the trust is administered properly and that all legal requirements are satisfied.
It is important to note that if the estate and/or trust assets are improperly accounted for, the trustee can be held personally liable. Additionally, strategies to reduce costs and taxes may be overlooked.
There could also be confusion and conflict between beneficiaries about their rights under the trust and whether the laws are being complied with. Without help from an experienced estate planning attorney, this can lead to litigation and costly delays.
We can work with you to resolve outstanding debts and expenses, distribute assets to the proper beneficiaries, minimize estate taxes, administer trusts in conjunction with your family’s existing advisors and fiduciaries, and help you avoid the types of mistakes that can leave you subject to personal financial liability.
If no trust is in place, or if the trust is incomplete, we can help you through the court process, called probate.
If you have been called upon to administer an estate or serve as trustee, you are not alone. We can guide you every step of the way. Contact us and we will be happy to discuss your particular situation and be of service to you during this difficult time.