I’m a Trustee – Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you’re taking over as trustee of a living trust, or you are named as trustee or executor in a will, you will have some work to do. You will begin by collecting all the relevant information, bills, and documents related to the trust or estate’s financial records, so that you can ultimately account for all of the trust/estate property to the beneficiaries and distribute that property, when the time comes.

Often, your trustee duties regarding communicating with beneficiaries, when you need to distribute funds, and other ongoing obligations of the positions will be spelled out in the document itself, either the Trust Agreement or the Will. You may need to seek professional advice from an experienced estate or probate attorney to learn more about your duties and options in your Trustee or Executor role.

Depending on the terms of the particular trust or will that you are in charge of administering, you may be responsible for distributing funds to beneficiaries over a period of months or even many years.

This list is just an example of some the jobs that an executor or trustee may need to accomplish:

  1. Obtain death certificates
  2. Locate and file the will with the local probate court
  3. Notify the Social Security Administration and/or the Department of Health
  4. Identify, locate and notify the beneficiaries
  5. Inventory and/or appraise any assets of the trust or estate
  6. Take necessary steps to protect the trust or estate property
  7. Obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number from the IRS
  8. Transfer the title to trust or estate property
  9. Review trust investments
  10. Set up a record-keeping system for required estate accounting
  11. Arrange for payment of estate debts

Limitless Law PLLC has experience advising and assisting trustees and executors to carry out their responsibilities – you don’t have to do it alone!  Call us at 360-685-0145 for your free 15-minute phone consultation if you have any questions or need any help with acting as an estate or trust administrator.