An Indianapolis trust administration lawyer can provide you with legal representation if you are creating a trust, if you are a trust beneficiary, or if you are involved in any way with the trust administration process. The trust administration process occurs after a trust creator – called a settlor – passes away. It is an alternative process to probate, and it facilitates the transfer of trust assets to the heirs or beneficiaries who will take ownership.
Frank & Kraft has represented many parties going through the trust administration process. The goal of this process is to make it possible to quickly transfer assets to new owners so that they can begin to control the money and property that the settlor has left to them. It is important to understand exactly how this process works and to understand who will be in charge of overseeing the process.
Who Oversees the Trust Administration Process?
One of the major differences between the trust administration process and the probate process is that the probate court does not have to be involved with Indianapolis trust administration. The process of administering a trust can take place outside of court, provided that there are no problems during the process and that everyone fulfills their legal obligations while a trust is being administered.
Because the court is not involved, the responsibility of facilitating the transfer of assets falls on the trust administrator. The trust administrator is a person who was selected by the settlor when the trust was created. The trust administrator has a fiduciary duty, which is the highest duty owed under the law. The administrator of a trust is prohibited from acting in his own best interests at the expense of the trust beneficiaries and the trust administrator must make a reasonable effort to appropriately fulfill his obligations during the trust administration process.
If a trust administrator fails to fulfill his obligations or breaches his fiduciary duty, then the heirs or beneficiaries who stand to inherit can take legal action, including claiming a breaching of duty and suing the trust administrator for financial damages. Anyone who has been chosen by a trust creator to serve as a trust administrator should understand that he or she is taking on an important legal obligation and will have duties to fulfill.
The trust administrator has many jobs during the process of administering a trust. The administrator is expected to provide appropriate notice to interested parties. The administrator has to comply with different tax rules and requirements that are imposed, as well as making sure that trust assets are managed and cared for in a responsible way to avoid loss. When deeds, titles and formal documents showing the ownership of trust property must be changed so the property can be officially transferred to the new owners designated in the trust, it is the job of the trust administrator to see to that process.
Trust administrators will need to have financial or legal knowledge of their obligations under the law, under the terms of the trust document, and under Internal Revenue Code rules. Because of the complexities associated with the administration of a trust and because of the consequences that could end up occurring if the trust administrator fails to fulfill his obligations, it is a good idea for anyone who has been vested with the responsibility of administering a trust to get proper legal help.
Getting Help from An Indianapolis Trust Administration Lawyer
An Indianapolis trust administration lawyer can provider representation to a trust administrator who is in charge of facilitating the transfer of trust assets to their new owners. We also represent heirs or beneficiaries who want to make sure the trust administration process goes smoothly, as well as providing advice and assistance to trust creators so they can select the right trustee and create the correct type of trust.
To find out more about how the trust administration process works and how we can help you to fulfill your role within this process, join us for a free seminar. If you are ready to get personalized assistance with the trust administration process, you can also give us a call at 317-684-1100 or contact us online at any time.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.