An Unfamiliar and Complex Role: Why Trustees Need to Utilize Legal Counsel for Successful Trust Administration

The death of a loved one is never easy. Those left behind need to process their grief and find a way to move forward. The healing journey can be even more difficult when coupled with the unfamiliar responsibilities involved in administering a loved one’s trust.

Those charged with administering a trust face a range of legal, ethical, and financial responsibilities, some or all of which may be outside their experience and knowledge. While most individuals entrusted with the fiduciary duties inherent in trust administration attempt to fulfill those obligations with honesty and integrity, they may lack the legal expertise, resources, or skills to do so.

Regardless of a trustee’s attempts to administer the trust with honesty and integrity, a failure to discharge their duties or satisfy other requirements under the law may leave the trustee facing liability for their actions. As the saying goes, “No good deed goes unpunished.” That is why having professional guidance when administering a trust is so critical. Experienced trust administration counsel can help trustees understand and navigate the duties and obligations that come with the confidential and fiduciary relationship of being a trustee.

A Steady Hand and Sound Guidance Throughout the Process

Whether it is understanding the complexities of these various duties or satisfying certain statutory requirements, Kreis Enderle’s trust administration attorneys work closely with trustees to provide the needed support and direction to successfully administer the trust. From soon after the loved one passes away until the last assets are distributed, our attorneys provide a steady hand and sound advice that can give trustees peace of mind and reassurance that they are doing the right things and adhering to the requirements under the law.

While the ultimate goal is to ensure trust assets are managed and distributed according to the deceased loved one’s wishes, a trustee needs to be mindful of various issues along the way. Whether this means satisfying notice requirements, analyzing tax implications, or managing the trust’s specific assets, our attorneys can help minimize conflicts, court involvement, and costs that can arise during trust administration. This professional guidance and support creates value in the form of a more efficient trust administration where trustees can avoid unintended delays, costly legal battles, unnecessary emotional stress and even potential liability.

Remembering the Human Element

Aside from all of the legal requirements involved in trust administration, we also recognize that there is a human element at the heart of the process. Trustees and beneficiaries are often family members who may have differing views, expectations, and needs that can strain relationships or lead to costly and destructive conflicts. With transparency, open communication, empathy, and professionalism, we strive to keep matters civil, resolve disputes, and preserve family bonds while we help trustees meet their obligations.

Kreis Enderle’s lawyers are dedicated to providing the guidance, support, and skill required to navigate the various complexities involved in trust administration so that all parties can move forward with clarity and conclusiveness.

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