Yuba-Sutter and surrounding area residents who become a surviving trustee or a successor trustee of a trust-based estate plan will greatly benefit from hiring a qualified attorney to help with the administration of the trust.
An experienced attorney will help the trustee:
- Understand and properly file the appropriate tax forms
- Avoid incurring personal liability while performing their duties
- Defend the trust against challenges by heirs and beneficiaries who feel they were not properly considered by the decedent
- Draft and send proper notice to the heirs and beneficiaries of the trust in a manner that limits their time to challenge the trust agreement
- Understand the terms of the trust and if necessary to petition the court to resolve any ambiguities
- If necessary negotiate a solution with disgruntled heirs or beneficiaries
- Confirm that all of the liabilities of the estate, including taxes, have been paid in full before final distribution of the trust assets.
All trust administration attorneys are not equally skilled.
Many lawyers who handle trust administration do it only as a sideline and are not aware of the latest laws and newest strategies for best protecting the trustee and the value of the trust estate.
When a trust lists multiple beneficiaries and trustee to oversee the distribution of assets, disagreements can arise.
Sometimes disputes are inevitable because of factors outside the estate plan, such as long-standing distrust or animosity among family members. If disagreements escalate, litigation is a possibility. Some common reasons for an estate to enter litigation include
- Disputes over legitimacy of the trust
- Errors or omissions in the trust
- Treatment of the decedent’s property as separate or community
- Valuation of assets
- Disputes over business succession
- Acts of the Trustee