A Burlington living trust attorney provides help with the trust creation process so a trust that is created by a trust creator (or settlor) can offer the desired protection for family and assets. One of the key decisions that is made during the trust creation process is the choice of who should serve as a trustee. The trustee has tremendous responsibility during the trust administration process and must be capable of managing trust assets in an appropriate way in case of the incapacity of the trust creator, as well as after the trust creator passes away.
Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC not only assists trust creators in making sure they select the right trustee, but we also represent trustees when the time has come for them to take control of trust assets. You have an enormous obligation to fulfill the wishes of the settlor and to act in accordance with the law if you have been chosen as a trustee and you should not try to fulfill this role on your own without a full understanding of what the law requires of you. A Burlington living trust attorney at Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC can help you to fulfill your obligations if you are a trustee, so give us a call today to find out more.
What to Know About Being a Trustee
When a living trust is created, usually the settlor will name himself to serve as a trustee. A spouse may be named as a co-trustee. The trust creator and his or her spouse can manage trust assets and make decisions on what happens to the trust as long as they are alive and of sound mind. The trust creator will typically name a backup trustee as well, who can take over managing the assets of the trust when something happens to the settlor.
If you have been asked to serve as a backup trustee, you may have little or nothing to do for a long time, as long as the trust settlor continues to be able to manage his or her own affairs. At some point, however, something could happen to the trust creator and the trust creator could become unable to continue to take care of trust assets.
The trustee will need to take control over managing the money, investments and property held within the trust as long as the trust settlor is not able to act on his own to manage the trust. The trustee has a fiduciary duty, which is the highest duty owed under the law. Before you agree to take on the role of trustee, you need to be aware that you could face substantial responsibility and even perhaps be personally liable if you do not manage trust assets in an appropriate way in the event of the settlor’s incapacity.
After the settlor has passed on, the trustee also has substantial responsibilities as well. The trustee is responsible for overseeing the trust administration process, which is an alternative to the probate process. The assets that are held within the trust will transfer via the trust administration process, ideally outside of court and without the involvement of a judge. It is the trustee’s obligation to make sure that the transfer of assets is facilitated in accordance with the wishes of the deceased and in accordance with the law.
Not only will you have to manage the assets in the trust after the settlor’s death, but you will also be responsible for providing notice to interested parties of the trust administration process, dealing with creditor claims, amassing property that the trust owns, and formally transferring that property to heirs or beneficiaries. The process of serving as trust administrator is time-consuming and complicated, so you should make absolutely certain that you have the right legal advice to help you.
Getting Help from A Burlington Living Trust Attorney
A Burlington living trust attorney at Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC can provide personalized help with the process of creating a trust and selecting the best person to serve as trustee. We can also provide advice to anyone who is asked to serve as a trustee or who is currently fulfilling this vitally important role.
To find out more about how our legal team helps trust creators, trustees and trust beneficiaries, join us for a free seminar. If you are involved in the creation or administration of a trust, you can also give us a call at (802) 879-7133 or contact us online to get personalized advice on your role in relation to the trust. Call today so we can help.