When you look into the facts, you may decide that you would like to use a revocable living trust as your primary vehicle of asset transfer. These trusts provide a number of different advantages that you would not enjoy if you were to use a last will.
The creator of the trust is called the grantor in legal parlance. A trust will have a beneficiary who receives monetary distributions, and there is also a trustee.
With a revocable living trust, the grantor will typically act as the trustee and the beneficiary at first. You could assume these roles while you are alive and well, and as a result, you would be the sole controller of the trust.
Role of Trustee
The trustee is the trust administrator. It is up to the trustee to conduct the business of the trust, which is an entity in and of itself.
You would be using the revocable living trust as an estate planning tool, so you name a successor trustee in the trust declaration. The successor trustee would handle the trust administration tasks after you pass away.
In the declaration you would also name a successor beneficiary who would receive distributions from the trust after you are gone.
The successor trustee would follow instructions that you leave behind in the trust declaration regarding asset distributions to the beneficiary. This is one of the trust administration tasks that the trustee would handle.
The trustee would essentially act in accordance with your wishes and follow your instructions. However, in some cases, a grantor will give the trustee the ability to make certain decisions with the best interests of the beneficiary in mind.
When you are choosing a successor trustee, you may want to name someone that you know. It is possible to name multiple trustees, and you could also name alternate trustees who could step in upon the passing of the first choice.
Another option would be to use a corporate trustee like a trust company or the trust section of a bank. Depending on the circumstances, this could be a better choice. These fiduciaries are professionals, and they understand what it takes to administer a trust effectively.
There are no longevity concerns when you use a corporate trustee, there is inherent oversight, and there would be no conflicts of interest.
Free Report on Trust Administration
We have a valuable resource that you can access through this website if you would like to learn more about trust administration. Our firm has prepared a series of special reports that cover numerous different estate planning topics, and there is a report in our library that is devoted to trust administration.
To get your copy of the report, click this link and follow the simple instructions: Indianapolis IN Trust Administration.
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.