One of our goals is to assist our clients in the creation and maintenance of an estate plan that will avoid the need for probate. A living trust based estate plan, if properly established, maintained, and “funded,” avoids probate because assets are held in the trust, not in the deceased person’s name. The trust provides for administration of the estate privately, without the need for probate.
Trusts are not, however, self-administering documents. Work must be performed to ensure that the trust assets are properly managed and transferred. Trust administration involves identifying and managing the assets, paying the bills, taxes, if any, and administrative expenses, and distributing or maintaining and managing the assets as instructed in the trust.
We believe that trustees should be educated as to their duties prior to their service. For that reason, we offer training workshops to our clients and the trustees that they name to administer their trusts after their disability or death. Upon disability or death, we assist the trustee in administering the estate and ensuring that all of their duties are properly performed.