05 Mar Trust Administrator Duties-Gilbert Arizona
Living Trusts involve making wise decisions in order to protect your financial future. Good Living Trusts successfully designate who inherits your estate after you’ve passed away and when the finances are distributed. A good plan also protects your hard-earned finances and assets from loss and from costly court fees. But one of the most important decisions involved in setting up your Living Trust has to do with the person (or persons) you designate to be your Trust Administrator after you’ve passed away, or in the event that you become disabled. Phelps LaClair, serving Gilbert, Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler, and surrounding areas, would like to highlight Gilbert AZ Trust Administrator duties in this blog post, to help you in choosing a qualified person or persons to carry out the details of your Living Trust.
Trust Administrator Duties-Gilbert Arizona
When an estate plan is created, the Trust Administrator, also known as the Successor Trustee or Fiduciary (someone legally obliged to act on your behalf) is appointed by the owner of the estate. After death or incapacitation, the Trust Administrator is responsible for carrying out the written desires and wishes of the estate owner for the benefit of the beneficiaries. Their responsibilities are similar to the executor of a will, with two main exceptions; a Trust Administrator won’t need to deal with probate; and, if funds are not designated for immediate distribution, the Trust Administrator may have ongoing duties for a number of years. Some of the duties of the trust administrator may include:
- Gathering the estate’s assets
- Taking inventory of the property
- Protecting estate property
- Paying valid claims against the estate, including taxes
- Representing the estate in any claims against others
- If necessary, liquidation of assets
- Investing funds as determined by the estate plan
- Disbursement of Trust assets, as per established trust agreement instructions.
You can see why it’s so essential to choose the right person (or persons) to be the Trust Administrator for your estate. A spouse or an adult child may or may not be the right person for the job if their being appointed to the position creates family conflict, or if they have little understanding of financial matters. It’s important to choose someone who is capable, trustworthy, and has no conflict of interest in representing you to your heirs.
In Arizona, trust administration is done without any court oversight and is managed privately by the Trust Administrator. But to avoid personal liability, and to ensure that the wishes of the trust’s creator are successfully carried out, we strongly recommended that Trust Administrators seek the professional guidance of a qualified law firm.
Phelps LaClair is a second generation firm that focuses exclusively on estate planning. We’ve been around for more than 40 years, and we’ve helped countless families in securing the future of their estates. If you have questions, give us a call and schedule your free consultation with an estate planning attorney. We’re a relational firm that cares about your needs, and we’ll be happy to discuss an estate plan that works for you.
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