When the owner of a Revocable Living Trust dies, and you are named in the Trust as the Surviving or Successor Trustee, you now have legal responsibility for performing a number of tasks. Some of these tasks involve complying with the requirements of the Trust. Other tasks involve compliance with a variety of tax laws. Some of the more significant tasks include:
LOCATE ASSETS: Look at the deceased’s papers to locate assets, bank accounts & insurance policies.
COLLECT BENEFITS: such as life insurance, veterans benefits, and refunds for prepaid services such as magazine subscriptions, that are due to the estate or to beneficiaries.
NOTIFICATIONS: Notifying the post office and the Social Security Administration if the deceased was receiving Social Security payments. Giving formal notice to the beneficiaries of the death.
CREDIT CARDS: Canceling credit cards in the decedent’s name alone.
DEBTS AND LAWSUITS: Collecting all debts owing to the decedent or the deceased’s estate, and pursuing lawsuits on behalf of the estate.
INVENTORY ASSETS: Preparation of an inventory of all property owned by the Trust at time of death and obtaining professional appraisals of those assets.
MANAGEMENT OF PROPERTY: Prudent management, protection, and investment of the property, including maintenance of appropriate property and liability insurance.
PAY BILLS: Payment of various debts and trust expenses as well as filing income tax returns for the decedent and the trust.
DISTRIBUTE TO BENEFICIARIES: Transfer of the deceased’s property to various beneficiaries who are to receive them.
TAX RETURNS: Preparation and filing of Federal income tax returns for the decedent and the Trust. This will be required annually, with the returns being due on April 15 of each year.
ACCOUNTINGS: Providing an full accounting to all of the beneficiaries and heirs of the assets, liabilities, income and expenses of the trust.
FEES: You normally are entitled to a reasonable fee for performing these duties. However, most people cannot perform all of these duties without the professional assistance of an attorney, appraisers, and accountants.
This is where we come in. We can help you perform these duties efficiently and competently and find other professionals to aid you in your duties.
Call us for a free consultation so we can help with your Trustee’s duties.