When you create a trust, you will need to appoint a trustee to manage the trust as well as successor trustees to replace any trustee who passes away or becomes incapacitated. Most successor trustees, however, are unprepared because they lack trust administration knowledge and experience. Managing a living trust can seem like a daunting task, but with our advice and guidance, trustees and successor trustees can successfully protect your assets and wealth. Below are some of the mistakes made in managing a living trust that can be quite costly:
- Select your successor trustee wisely. Your successor trustee should be somebody you completely trust. This person will manage your affairs after the trustees death or, in some cases, if the trustee should become unable to do so during your lifetime. Discuss the responsibility of serving as a trustee with the appointed individual and let them know that our law firm can assist them with their trust administration duties.
- Fund the trust. A trust can only protect the assets it holds or is the legal owner of. Thus, it is important to transfer ownership of all of your assets to the living trust so probate can be avoided. Additionally, assets left out of the trust could not only cost your estate by incurring probate expenses, but also taxes.
- Include a residual clause. Even though we will help make sure that you have included all of your assets in the trust, it is still important to include a residual clause as a catch-all for any property that is inadvertently omitted or acquired after formation of the trust. The residual clause helps ensure that no part of your estate goes through probate.
- Review and update. Many people think that once the trust has been created, they never have to worry with it again. However, as your life changes, your trust may need to change. Marriages, births, deaths, location changes and even new tax laws require a yearly review of your trust document to confirm it still accomplishes your goals.
If you need assistance with the administration of a trust, contact The Legacy Lawyers for help. Feel free to contact us to schedule your no-cost consultation. We are truly here to help. Simply call: (714) 963-7543. At The Legacy Lawyers we are dedicated to your peace of mind.