Several people opt for trusts as a safe and secure way to ensure their family is well protected after they have passed on. They mostly appoint their lawyers as trustees to manage the estate and oversee distribution, investment, and other vital transactions.
But the duties of a trust administration attorney generally come into play after the death of the estate owner. They ensure that the property and assets owned by the descendants but titled in the name of the trust are administered as per the trust terms.
It is critical to note that court supervision of the administration is not mandatory unless a third party (such as the trustee) files a petition requesting it.
Responsibilities of a Trust Administrator
Many folks have trusts but are unsure of how trust administration actually works. The following are some crucial duties of a trust administrator that may help understand the concept better.
- Duty of loyalty – A trust administrator must act in the interests of the beneficiaries at all times. There should be transparency and reliability on both sides for the trust to fulfill its purpose.
- Duty of impartiality – There may be more than a single beneficiary to a trust at any given time. It is vital that trustees treat all beneficiaries with the same regard and impartiality. There is absolutely no scope for them to be lenient toward one over the others.
- Duty of disclosure – While aspects and features may change depending on the type of trust, the general rule is that trustees must keep all the beneficiaries reasonably informed about material facts and developments. Simply put, it means that the beneficiaries have a right to be informed about the state of the trust and the actions of the trust administrator.
- Duty to enforce and defend claims – An honorable trust administrator must implement or defend claims whenever necessary. They must use prudence and diligence in the matter and do the right thing, even if the claim causes a loss to the trust.
- Oversee investment of trust assets – Almost all trusts will have specific assets as investments that need attention. One of the critical roles of a trust administration attorney is to keep a close watch on how the investments are performing. It allows them to suggest and initiate changes that will help the estate owners make more money.
- File income tax returns – Although they enjoy tax cuts, most trusts have to file tax returns like everyone else. A trust attorney monitors tax issues throughout the year in preparation for filing the returns when the time comes.
The Bottom Line
Did you know that the market size of the Trust & Estate Industry in the US is veiled at $175 billion? This number will inevitably increase as more people invest in properties and other assets in the future.
In turn, property acquisitions like this will lead to a demand for trust attorneys across the country. They are already helping countless people worldwide keep their property and other assets safe and within the family. Consequently, one can expect such knowledgeable lawyers to thrive even more in the coming years.
So, if you own sizable assets and are planning to purchase more properties, it is advisable to consult a trust lawyer for guidance on how to go about forming a trust.