The Mead Law Firm P.C.

Get a Consultation with an Experienced Attorney 888-328-1440 / 503-214-2712

3 Important steps to take as a successor trustee

Managing a settlor’s trust once they have passed is a big responsibility. Chances are, the settlor has already worked with you and prepared you for this role. Still, it can be an overwhelming process once the trust enters the administration phase. Here are three important steps you should immediately take as a successor trustee.

 

1. Take inventory of the trust

Locating and organizing all documents related to the settlor's estate is crucial for moving forward. You will need to review each item and the provisions of the trust to make sure everything is there. Documents to look for might include:

  • Original estate planning documents
  • Bank statements
  • House deeds
  • Credit card bills
  • Mortgages
  • Life insurance policies
  • Tax returns
  • Funeral instructions

Having each asset mapped out can make the process easier when you need to transfer items to the beneficiaries.

2. Get an appraisal

You will need to get an appraisal of the total market value of the assets in the trust. An appraiser can help you determine the value of things like property, jewelry and other personal belongings. Appraisals are especially important because some assets are liable to property or inheritance taxes. Knowing an asset’s value can help you figure out what taxes will be owed.

3. Notify necessary parties

Obviously, you will need to let the beneficiaries know of the settlor’s passing if they don’t already so that they can prepare for the transfer of assets. But other outside parties will also need to know that the settlor has passed. You should notify anyone who makes or receives recurring payments to or from the settlor. This can include the following:

  • Social Security Administration
  • Insurance companies
  • Telephone companies
  • Pharmacists
  • Banks

These parties need to be notified so you can either cancel the settlor’s account or transfer it to a beneficiary’s name. A phone call is typically the easiest way to notify each party. You may need to provide the settlor’s social security number, death certificate or account numbers when making these calls.

Although you won’t have to deal with time-consuming probate court, serving as a trustee can be a complex and stressful process. An experienced estate attorney may be able to ease the chaos and help you understand and fulfill your successor trustee duties.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Information & Tools

Email Us For a Response

Tell Us About Your Legal Issue

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

The Mead Law Firm P.C.

7455 SW Bridgeport Rd, Ste 205 Tigard, OR 97224 Toll Free: 888-328-1440 Phone: 503-214-2712 Fax: 866-735-1534 Tigard Law Office Map