Trust Administration

Maryland Trust Administration Practice Area by Pathfinder Law Group

What is Trust Administration?

Trust administration is the implementation and management of a trust created by you or by someone else where you are named to designated to administer the trust. Once the estate planning documents including any trusts are in place, our team oversees and supports the administration, management, and distribution process to ensure all the trust terms are met.

A perfect illustration of trust administration is if a parent passes away while their child is still a minor, they could leave money in a trust for that child. This is a commonly used trust to protect a minor as they continue to mature. Until the son or daughter is at the age to accept the money, the trustee will look after it.

In essence, a trust creates a framework for a third party to manage a person's assets when someone is either living or after they have died. When a trust is created or when a trust's settlor dies, trust management begins.

We represent our clients, trustees, and agents in trust administration. Our team also has expertise in helping with the administration of specialized trusts, specifically special needs trusts.

Here are a few examples of trusts we handle for our clients:

 

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Who is a Trustee?

After a trust is established, the trustee is primarily involved in day-to-day operations. They are responsible for holding, managing, and administering the trust's assets on the settlor's behalf. They must act in the trust beneficiaries' best interests as part of their fiduciary duties as trustees.

When the trust is established, the obligations of the trustee will be specified, and while some of them may vary based on the circumstances, others are standard. The trustee is in charge of giving the trust's beneficiaries their share of the trust property. While the trust still owns the assets, the trustee is in charge of making investments, maintaining any real estate included in the trust, and managing tax payments.

Who is a Beneficiary?

A trust, policy, or retirement account beneficiary is a person or organization that receives an asset, typically money or stocks, from one of these. Giving money to someone is frequently a means for a trust creator (settlor) to provide for that individual financially after his or her passing. Occasionally, trusts are established for beneficiaries that are minors or have special needs support at the time of the settlor's passing and are unable to handle the money on their own.

Additionally, settlors have the option of leaving money to a nonprofit or charity. This guarantees financial support for a cause that was important to the settlor throughout their lifetime.

A trust's instructions and beneficiary list are predetermined to prevent disputes after the settlor's passing. It is significant to note that certain settlors permit trustees to allocate assets to beneficiaries unequally at the trustee's discretion.

When should I visit a Trust Administration attorney?

As part of the estate planning process, you will determine who will administer the trust (trustees) and who will receive the benefit from that trust (beneficiaries). It's best to utilize an attorney you feel comfortable with at the outset so your Trustee will have steadfast advice and guidance when administering the trust.

PathFinder Law Group, Estate Planning Attorneys in Baltimore, Maryland, are experienced Maryland Trust Administration Attorneys who can help you navigate through this complicated but important area of the law. Managing assets under trust is one of the tools available for a person who wants to provide for their family after they are gone. Because of its importance, you should only turn to the experienced and focusing in this area of law.

Contact PathFinder Law Group or call us at (443) 579-4529 to assist with your Estate Planning and Trust Administration needs.

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Trust Administration F.A.Q.

What is an estate plan? An estate plan designates how your assets will be distributed after death with the idea to minimize taxes and protect your assets, outlines how you would like to receive care as you grow older, and who can make decisions for you on your behalf.

What is probate? Probate is the court process to distribute the estate of a person after they pass away. If there is a last will and testament, the personal representative will already be designated and there will be directions on how to distribute the assets of the estate. If the deceased person has no will and testament, the state law will determine how the assets are distributed.

What are non-probate assets? A non-probate asset is an asset that will not be subject to court oversight. For example, a retirement account or life insurance policy that have beneficiary designations will pass to the individual listed and not go through the probate process.

What is a trust? A trust can minimize taxes and maximizes benefits for the person entitled to receive from it, while also providing protection of those assets. Trusts can be a great way to protect and distribute wealth to specific individuals. A trust can be created during a person's lifetime or can be created upon their death. Typically, the assets held in a trust avoid the probate process.

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