Trust development and administration is a rather complicated area of the law and may necessitate the counsel of a lawyer familiar with estate planning, finance, business, and trust laws.
If you are in the beginning phases of establishing a trust, need a trustee to handle the ongoing administrative tasks, or have an issue with how your trust is being handled, discuss your situation with a trust administration attorney in your area.
Steps Involved in Trust Administration
The trustee has certain legal duties to fulfill. The trustee’s duties are defined by the terms of the trust, as well as the laws set forth in Washington State codes.
Some of the steps involved in trust administration include:
- filing the will;
- obtaining a tax identification number for the trust from the IRS;
- notifying beneficiaries and heirs;
- inventorying the assets;
- calculating the value of the assets;
- record keeping;
- filing taxes;
- filing annual accounting statements to beneficiaries;
- drafting the trust certification; and
- creating all required affidavits and change of ownership reports.
Protecting Your Financial Interests
Creating a trust and ensuring that your assets are handled appropriately is an important part of estate planning. Some reasons to create a legal trust include if:
- you want to reduce your estate and gift taxes;
- you want to dictate how your assets are distributed;
- you want additional asset protection; or
- you want to sidestep probate court and be able to distribute your assets to your beneficiaries without the hefty fees of probate court.
What to Look for in a Trust Administration Attorney
You’re entrusting the procurement of your and your loved one’s financial future to the trust administration attorney, so you’ll want to be certain that the attorney is the right fit for you.
Here are a few key questions to ask when hiring a lawyer to handle your estate:
- Is the attorney local? Convenience and knowledge of state laws are important.
- Does he or she have verifiable experience successfully handling trusts? Ask about their background and obtain testimonies.
- Does the lawyer handle all aspects of trust administration? Drafting the trust is only the beginning. Does the attorney advise you on funding as well?
- What are the fees? Ensure you understand the terms upfront and don’t get surprised by hidden fees later.
- Does the attorney handle litigation as well? If issues arise and you need to take legal action in court, can the attorney represent you through the litigation process?
- Do you trust this attorney? You are entrusting a lot to your trust administration attorney’s care. Do you believe he or she is well-suited for the task and completely competent?
Trust Administration Attorneys in Everett, Washington
If you reside in or near Everett, Washington and are in need of counsel for your estate, contact the trust administration attorneys at Deno Millikan. We have over 40 years’ experience, and make it our aim to provide quality service to our clients at a fair cost.