Experts agree that after a death, the responsible person should take the necessary legal steps. If a will or trust is involved, the first step is find the document. And then:
If a will is involved, the post-death process is called probate. If a trust is involved, we call it post death administration.
When a living trust is involved in which its' creator was the original trustee, the trust may name a successor trustee to manage the trust and a beneficiary (one or more) to receive the trust's assets after death.
Law statutes and the trust itself dictate the duties a successor trustee has. The terms of a trust can differ widely from each other.
So, there is no substitute for reading the legal documents. It is common to have an attorney review the documents as well as the named executor (will) or trust (successor trustee).
Trust administration depends on the particular circumstances, with possible differing treatment of:
Managing a trust can be time-consuming and overwhelming when dealing with the responsibilities and emotions caused by the death of a loved one.
We can help you, the trustee, so that the responsibilities of trust administration are more manageable.
The successor trustee can be held personally liable by the beneficiaries if they do not meet the requirements of the trustee as set out by the trust.
If the person who signed the trust becomes incapacitated and unable to manage the trust, a successor trustee takes over trust administration. They should: