What a Trust Administrator Does

What a  Trust Administrator  Does

If a loved one that has died has a trust, the trust needs administration upon their passing. This administration can be a complicated process for an administrator. They may be dealing with the grief of losing a loved one coupled with a lack of knowledge of the legal aspects of a trust.

What a Trust Administrator Does

In general, the process of trust administration is to identify and gather all assets and then pay any outstanding obligations. Once they complete this process, the administrator’s job is to make any final distributions as stated in the trust.

A couple of problems that an administrator can face are the legal terminology and concepts in the trust and if anyone comes along to dispute the trust. More often than not, an administrator is not a lawyer. There can often be complex legal matters contained inside of a trust. Any administrator’s responsible course of action is to consult an appropriate lawyer if they do not understand any of the concepts presented in the trust.

If anyone comes along to dispute any items contained in the trust, having a qualified lawyer is even more critical. While the administrator is responsible for administering the trust, they generally have the right to consult with other professionals to make sure they execute their obligations responsibly and correctly.

It is also vital that the administrator understand the powers given under a trust. While there may be trusts that endow the administrator with virtually unlimited ability to do as they see fit, a more common practice is to have limits on the administrator’s powers.

The First Step for Any Trustee Is To Get Organized

No matter what method an administrator chooses to get organized, they must have a uniform system to keep track of all the elements of the trust. Reading a multipage document with several sections and remembering everything to accomplish can be difficult. One fantastic way to keep things organized is by creating a spreadsheet that lists all the items that need attention.

When administrators look online, they will find quite a few spreadsheet templates for this very purpose. It is always advisable for them to look through several of these spreadsheets to find one that suits their needs and style. It is also essential to have a place to keep all of the relevant documents such as bank statements, property deeds, and insurance policies. 

One way to organize documents is by methodically keeping traditional paper files. Another option is to scan paper documents and then have electronic versions of the documents stored on a computer or a cloud storage system. 

There is no one right way to do this. An administrator should do things to make them feel comfortable and confident that they will be able to accomplish their job.

Administering the trust of a deceased loved one can feel like an overwhelming task. To ensure items get done correctly and in a timely fashion, a detailed and organized plan is necessary. It is also crucial for an administrator to remember to ask for professional help whenever they see fit.

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