Grand Blanc Trust Administration Attorneys
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Most of our clients choose to incorporate trusts into their estate plans in order to better protect their assets and leave legacies for their loved ones. A living trust can enable the avoidance of probate, limit tax exposure, and facilitate flexible and customizable parameters for distributing assets. However, any trust is also a fiduciary relationship that will require ongoing maintenance and management. In many cases, you will need qualified legal representation to guide you to the optimal results.
Our Grand Blanc trust administration lawyers at Mannor Law Group, PLLC can ensure the intentions of the trustor are honored while complying with all relevant state and federal laws. We are intimately familiar with how to efficiently and effectively administer trusts and can help avoid common mistakes that lead to significant problems.
Get the assistance you need in administrating your Michigan trust. Call (810) 645-8426 or contact us online to learn more about how we can help.
The Role of the Trustee
A person that forms a living trust is called a trustor or grantor. They define the terms of the trust and decide what assets are placed in it. Because a trust is a type of fiduciary relationship, a trustor must then appoint a trustee to manage the affairs of the trust. You will typically appoint yourself to be your own trustee during your lifetime.
The trustee is responsible for following the instructions of the trustor while honoring all state and federal laws that govern trust administration. Managing a trust, especially those involving a large variety of assets, can be a complex process that requires financial knowledge and compliance with relevant regulations.
Trustors should avoid appointing a trustee that is unfamiliar with the process of trust administration. Failure to appropriately manage a trust can result in the levying of harsh financial penalties. Depending on the nature of the negligence or offense, a trustee can even be held liable for any harm caused to the trust as a result of their mismanagement.
If you have been asked to administer a trust, you should consider consulting with a legal representative to understand the risks and responsibilities involved. We can assist you in carrying out your duties and provide guidance throughout the trust administration process.
Responsibilities of the Trustee Following the Death of the Trustor
One of the chief advantages of placing assets in a trust is the avoidance of probate. The trustee assumes control over trust assets immediately upon the passing of the trustor. They must then complete all legally mandated steps and distribute assets to the trust’s named beneficiaries.
Typical trust administration responsibilities include:
- Notifying trust beneficiaries and creditors
- Inventorying trust income, assets, and property
- Publishing legal notice per Michigan law
- Distribute assets per the instructions of the trustor
- Facilitating the sale of some assets
- Paying final expenses of the deceased
- Filing tax returns of the trustor and make any necessary payments
- Providing a final accounting of the trust to all heirs and beneficiaries.
Depending on the size and complexity of the trust, these tasks can represent a substantial amount of work.
Our Grand Blanc trust administration attorney attorneys at Mannor Law Group, PLLC understand how to efficiently settle estates in Michigan and can assist you in navigating what can be a difficult process. We can work with any existing advisors or personal representatives to ensure the directives of the trust are fully honored and accurately executed.
What Should You Not Put in a Living Trust?
A living trust is a legal document that allows you to place certain assets, such as real estate, investments, and personal property, into a trust to be managed by a trustee for the benefit of the beneficiaries. However, there are certain types of assets that should not be placed into a living trust, including:
- Retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s and IRAs. These accounts have special tax benefits and are better left outside of the trust.
- Life insurance policies. Putting a life insurance policy into a trust can cause it to lose its tax-free status upon death of the insured.
- Assets that need to be managed for a specific reason. For example, if you have a special needs child, you may want to set up a special needs trust to manage assets for their benefit.
Additionally, it's important to note that if you put assets into a living trust, you will lose control over them and will not be able to sell or use them without the permission of the trustee. Therefore, it's important to only put assets into a trust that you are comfortable giving up control over. It's recommended to consult with an attorney to make sure you understand the implications of placing assets in a living trust, and to decide if it is the right move for you.
Call (810) 645-8426 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Serving Grand Blanc, Flint, Rochester Hills and all of Mid-Michigan.
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