There are many other things that can happen in a trust administration.
Some of these things could include:
- Notifying trust beneficiaries and heirs at law of the death of the Grantor
- Obtaining an IRS Tax ID Number(s) for the trust and/or sub-trusts
- Filing a final income tax return for the decedent
- Filing a death tax return
- Filing a trust income tax return annually for as long as the trust is held open
- Publishing a legal notice in a local newspaper regarding the death of the Grantor of the trust
- Marshalling all of the assets together and protecting the trust assets
- Depositing the decedent’s Will with the County Clerk of the Court
- Opening a bank account for the trust
- Paying financial and last expenses of the decedent
- Collecting life insurance policy proceeds
- Determining if a formal probate needs to be opened with the court for any assets not titled in the trust
- Notifying all banks and financial institutions of the death and that they are the nominated Successor Trustee
- Notifying the V.A. (if applicable) and Department of Health Services of the death
- Determining Beneficiary status of all the decedent’s retirement accounts. For most 401Ks and IRAs, a stretch out is available for the beneficiary if the proper steps are taken
- Obtaining valuations on all property as of the date of death of the decedent including real estate and business interests
- Determining if an estate tax is due at the federal or state level on the decedent’s Estate
- Paying off all of the debts of the Grantor of the trust from the assets of the trust
- Paying ongoing expenses of trust administration such as legal and CPA expenses, etc.
- Liquidating assets where necessary to pay off the debts of the Grantor
- Investing assets of the trust in a safe and prudent manner during trust administration
- Distributing the trust assets to the beneficiaries after all of the above has been completed.
There are a variety of tasks that need to be analyzed and dealt with in an estate. The list above is not exhaustive!
The best way to avoid costly and stressful liability claims from your beneficiaries is by hiring an experienced trust attorney in the administration of any new or existing trusts. This will help shield you against expensive legal issues that could arise.