Your loved one has passed, and in addition to dealing with the emotional loss that you have experienced, you are now faced with the task of administering his trust. It may feel as though the tasks that lay before you are endless. Understanding which actions should be taken first can help get you started in the right direction.
How to Get Started
Now that you’re ready to start administering your loved one’s trust, consider taking the following steps first:
- Obtain a copy of the trust if you do not already have one.
- Send notice to the beneficiaries of the trust of the passing of your loved one. Be sure to include other information relating to the trust administration including your name, contact information, and a copy of the trust itself.
- Sign a trustee acceptance form. This may seem obvious, but many banks and other third parties will want to see that you have accepted your appointment as successor trustee.
- Contact all of the banks and other financial institutions that have accounts in the name of the trust. You will want them to know early on that you are the new trustee, and therefore, you are the individual that they will be working with when dealing with these assets.
- Contact an experienced attorney. While there are many licensed lawyers in this area, you will want to find someone with specific knowledge in the area of trust administration. You can contact the Orange County Bar Association if you ever have questions about an attorney’s license and record. At the Law Office of James F. Roberts & Associates, P.C., we have many years of helping countless clients administer trusts, and we would be happy to do the same for you.
- Contact an experienced accountant and financial advisor. You may need assistance filing trust tax returns and managing assets. These professionals can help ensure that the tasks are handled properly. You will likely need them very early on in the trust administration process.
As you administer the trust, you will spend a great deal of time following the provisions outlined in the trust instrument. Our free DVD, Understanding the Revocable Living Trust – In Language That Anyone Can Understand in 8 Minutes, provides a helpful background of knowledge to familiarize you with this type of document. Order your copy today!