David Howard Goldberg, P.L.

trust & probate administration Archives

Trust administration can be more complex than many expect

An important part of a complete estate plan is a revocable living trust. Property in a trust may bypass probate, allowing for distribution of a Florida estate's assets much quicker than if the deceased had only a will or no plan at all. However, this implies that the trustmaker, or grantor, correctly prepared and appropriately funded the trust as well as following other important steps. It is still possible that trust administration can take as long as probate.

Who handles a trust when a trustmaker dies?

After setting up a revocable trust, the creator is typically the trustee. This may involve funding new assets, removing the titles for assets that no longer exist or handling any investments that are funded to the trust. When the trustee dies, a successor trustee takes over these duties. Those in Florida who are named as successor trustees or who are beneficiaries of a trust may wish to understand the duties of a trustee after the trust creator dies.

What can complicate trust administration?

One of the benefits of a revocable living trust is that it allows the assets funded within it to bypass probate according to the instructions left within the trust. Whereas probated assets may linger in the process for up to a year, trust administration may be settled within a month or two, barring any complications. Some of the factors that may complicate a Florida will going through probate may also complicate a trust after the death of the trustor.

Removing a trustee may require trust litigation

The establishment of a trust is a complex step in the estate planning process. Because a trust goes beyond simply distributing assets after its creator trustee dies, there may be numerous legal elements at play, including tax ramifications and the trust's effect on government benefits. When a Florida trust creator names a successor trustee, the creator gives that person the legal authority to manage the assets according to the terms of the trust. However, if the beneficiaries of a trust are not happy with the successor trustee, it may lead to trust litigation.

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David Howard Goldberg, P.L.
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