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Trust Administration

 

Probate Administration


Trust Administration is where a lot of costly mistakes are made and trustee liability can often occur.  Administering a trust after death should be undertaken by a skilled estate planning attorney.

A nice article on Duties of a Trustee can be found here.

Many crucial estate and income tax planning decisions need to be made in a timely manner so they comply with IRS law.  Examples might include whether or not to disclaim proceeds, or to fund a ByPass or Credit Shelter Trust, or fund a QTIP Trust, or a Special Needs Trust, all potentially resulting in a huge tax savings. 

 
  A skilled Probate advocate is a tremendous resource to have in your corner.   Probate can have significant cost, delay distributions for up to 18 months, and provide a forum for disgruntled heirs.  Quality probate representation is worth its weight in gold.

The MA Probate process is required when anyone dies owning assets (including real estate) in their name alone.  The goal of course is to do the correct estate planning ahead of time to avoid this process.



 

Probate FYI- A high percentage of probate cases I take on were started by family members that tried to do it themselves and they ultimately got confused, overwhelmed, or just gave up on the process.  It may seem fairly straight forward but the strict rules of the Probate Court are required to be followed and this should be done only by a skilled advocate.

Trust Administration FYI- All too often I am presented with a trust after someone has passed and I am asked what they should do.  I tell then they should have seen me months or even years ago.  Often it is too late to take advantage of the tax savings provisions in the trust and IRS and MA Department of Revenue deadlines are missed. This is a very time sensitive area.