As the administration of your loved one’s trust comes to a close, you must be careful to follow the proper steps for finishing the process. One duty of a trustee during the closing of a trust administration is to provide all of the beneficiaries with a formal accounting. In some cases, however, trustees may instead opt to provide beneficiaries with a summary report that is less detailed and formal than an accounting.
Four Items to Incorporate in the Summary Report
If you are considering using a summary report instead of a final accounting as you close your loved one’s trust administration, certain information must be included. Following are four examples:
- The date of death values of all of the trust’s assets. For some assets, these values are obtained through an appraisal. For example, if the trust holds a house in Anaheim, a qualified appraiser should be hired to give an appraised value of the property as of the date of death of your loved one.
- The current values of the trust’s assets.
- The fee that you would like to charge for your work as trustee. Trustee fees must be reasonable, and it is important to note that the beneficiaries may object if they feel that your proposed fee is too high.
- The planned distribution amounts to each of the beneficiaries. For example, if the trust has $100,000 remaining in its accounts after all expenses are paid, and the trust calls for the balance to be divided equally between two people, the summary should state that each beneficiary will receive $50,000.
When using a summary report instead of an accounting, it is crucial to ensure that you obtain assents, in writing, from all of the beneficiaries. They should waive the right to receive a formal accounting in light of the fact that they agreed to receive a summary report instead.
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