Trust administration is complex, and many people selected as trustees feel they are unprepared and often find the process daunting. Choosing the correct person to handle the duties is one of the most crucial estate planning factors. Individuals selected as trustees are often confused about the proper steps to follow when the time comes for them to step in and carry out the final wishes of the deceased.

Hiring a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to help you through the process can alleviate the stress and protect your assets and legacy when you are named as someone’s trustee. Call a Staten Island trust administration lawyer to learn more about how they can assist you during the process and ensure compliance with state and federal laws.

Steps in the Trust Administration Process

The trustee must carefully follow the rules and guidelines to ensure compliance with the law and avoid trouble or fines. They must complete each step as required by the law before distributing assets to the beneficiaries.

Gather and Carefully Review Trust Documents

First, the trustee must gather all necessary documents and promptly send the request for the death certificate to the funeral home, as it can take time for them to fulfill. Next, they must carefully review each document they collect to learn about the different types of assets and property held in the trust.

Inventory and Valuation of Assets

Once the trust administrator understands which type of assets are in the trust, they must take inventory, including ordering valuations if necessary. When the trust includes money from life insurance or retirement accounts, they should carefully review the beneficiary designations to determine if they match the trust’s instructions.

Pay Outstanding Debt and Taxes

The individual named as trustee must notify the beneficiaries and creditors of the death and ensure all debt is paid in full. They must also pay all outstanding taxes the estate owes using the appropriate tax forms as required under the law.

Divide and Distribute Assets

Disbursing the remaining assets is the last step. The trustee must split and allocate the property per the trust document’s instructions. A Staten Island trust administration attorney could handle the duties as required by law.

Internal Revenue Service Trust Administration Requirements

As stated, filing the essential tax documents as the law requires is crucial to the trust administrator’s duties. Per the instructions found on the IRS website, the executor of the estate or trust administrator must use form 706 to determine outstanding taxes under the Internal Revenue Code 11.

The administrator has nine months from the recorded date of death to complete and file the document. Under the law, the following can be deducted from the estate assets and are not considered taxable:

  • Real property and mortgage debt
  • Assets the deceased leaves to a qualifying charity
  • The fees and other costs and losses accrued during the trust administration

A trust administration lawyer in Staten Island could handle each step of the process, including ensuring the proper tax forms are filed as federal laws require.

Call a Knowledgeable Trust Administration Attorney in Staten Island

While hiring counsel is not a legal requirement for administrating your trust and estate, a lawyer could give you many advantages during the administration process. They could help you through each process step while ensuring compliance with the rules and regulations.

Ensuring compliance with the law will prevent unnecessary delays and time-consuming litigation. Schedule an appointment with a seasoned Staten Island trust administration lawyer to learn more about how they can help protect your assets and loved ones.