Wills and Trusts Attorney, Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio Attorney

Trust administration can be a complicated process that many people struggle to understand.  Trust administration occurs after the death of either one or both settlors to a trust.  Keep in mind that trusts are quite different from a will in that trusts can avoid probate (for additional information between a trust and a will please see this article).  As a Cleveland, Ohio attorney, my clients are often mistaken that a trust will transfer assets automatically.  However, it’s important to understand that practically noting, in the legal world, transfers automatically.  Thus, it’s imperative to hire a qualified Ohio attorney to help aid in the process so that the estate is not distributed against the deceased wishes.  There are many processes involved with the administration of a trust.  For this reason, it’s important to choose someone trustworthy to manage the roles of administrator, trustee, or executor.

Estate Planning Attorney

If you’re thinking of setting up a trust, here are some important things to consider when selecting the appropriate trustee.

  1. A trust administrator must be able to avoid conflicts of interest and is forbidden from making decisions which favor the trustee of other beneficiaries.
  2. The trust administrator acts as a fiduciary; therefore, he or she is responsible for ensuring the trust produces income.  The trustee’s responsibilities include not only distributing income to the beneficiaries, but also ensuring that the money in the trust earns interest – opposed to just sitting in a checking account.
  3. The trustee is also responsible for making prudent choices when it comes to investments.  It’s very important to speak with an estate planning attorney or trust attorney to ensure wise decisions are made.
  4. The trust assets should be insured, and if they are lost or destroyed due to the trustee’s negligence, the trustee  may be held liable.
  5. The person in charge of a trust administration must be impartial and cannot interfere with the fair and honest administration of the trust.  A biased trustee will lead to litigation and frustration in a inevitability difficult time.
  6. The beneficiaries of the trust must be informed of the activity of the trust.  This includes informing them of the trust and the trustee’s role in the trust, supplying required documentation when requested, and providing all beneficiaries with an annual statement of the accounts.