The role of a trustee in Fort Lauderdale is an important one. If you have been designated as a trustee, you must administer a trust following the passing of the trust creator. This duty requires the trustee to avoid conflicts of interest and to protect the interests of the beneficiary.
If a trustee makes a mistake, they could face significant consequences on a personal level. Thankfully, our seasoned trusts attorney can assist them during this process. Marc Brown, P.A., our Fort Lauderdale trust administration lawyer can help a trustee perform their duties while protecting them from liability or penalties.
Trust Administration Process
Administering a trust is a lengthy process. Each step is important, and a mistake could have serious consequences for the beneficiaries and trustees alike. Due to the high stakes, the guidance of our dedicated attorney in Fort Lauderdale will be invaluable while you administer the trust.
Your work as the trustee begins immediately upon the death of the trust creator. Once you have been notified of the creator’s passing, you must gather important documents needed in the administration process. By reviewing the terms of the trust, you could identify beneficiaries and determine how property should be distributed.
After reviewing the documents, you must also secure the property held by the trust. This could include physical items like lockboxes or valuables, but it could also involve ownership documents for intangible assets like stocks or bonds.
Pay Expenses and Taxes
Another important part of your role as trustee is to resolve the debts of the trust. This generally requires resolving all the debts incurred by the trust either during or after the life of the trust creator.
The trust could also face a tax bill. Failing to pay these taxes could be one of the ways you could face serious consequences for not doing your job as trustee. Tax issues are complex, but our experienced attorney can help you with simplifying this part of the process.
Once all taxes and bills are paid, it is time to share the remainder of the trust with the beneficiaries. You must make these payments in accordance with the trust. Every trust designates beneficiaries differently, so it is important that you follow the guidance in these documents carefully.
Trust Administrators Can Rely on Legal Help in Fort Lauderdale
While trustees are tasked with administering the trust and protecting the interests of the beneficiaries, you are not required to do so on your own. Instead, you have the option to rely on the guidance of attorneys to assist you in of properly administering the trust.
If you are found to have breached your fiduciary duty as a trustee, you could face personal liability for the financial damage that occurred. An attorney can ensure you act in a way that does not violate your role as a trustee during the trust administration process.
Speak to a Fort Lauderdale Trust Administration Attorney Today
Serving as a trustee is a major responsibility that should never be taken lightly. Even honest mistakes could lead to serious financial consequences. Thankfully, an attorney can ensure a trustee discharges their duties while protecting the interests of the beneficiaries.
If you are tasked with serving as a trustee, you do not have to do so alone. Reach out to Marc Brown, P.A., our competent Fort Lauderdale trust administration lawyer, to get started.