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Trust Administration Attorney in Columbia, Missouri

Settling the final affairs of a deceased person often presents various challenges. However, planning in advance can make it possible for family members to navigate asset distribution with ease when you’re no more. A trust is a versatile estate planning tool that allows surviving family members to avoid the lengthy and time-consuming probate process. You can appoint a trusted person – a trustee – to help manage and distribute assets to heirs and beneficiaries per your wishes upon your death.

If you need assistance drafting a trust or want to understand how your trust will be administered when you’re gone, consulting with a knowledgeable Missouri estate planning attorney is important. At David W. Walker Attorney At Law, I’m dedicated to providing outstanding legal services and helping clients navigate the complexities of estate planning and trust administration. I’m available to discuss your unique circumstances, enlighten you about the benefits of trusts, and explain the role of the trustee. Also, I can guide you through the legal steps involved in setting up a trust and help you navigate key decisions.

My firm – David W. Walker Attorney At Law – proudly serves clients across Columbia, Missouri, and the surrounding areas of Boonville, Fulton, and Jefferson City.

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Overview of Trusts

A trust is a fiduciary relationship that allows a person (trustor) to appoint another person (trustee) to manage or handle assets placed into the trust on behalf of the beneficiaries. The trustee will hold trust property and transfer the assets to heirs and beneficiaries in accordance with the provisions of the trust documents.

The trust may contain various assets, including real estate property, bank accounts, securities, investments, stocks and bonds, and business interests. These assets will not pass through the probate process. Also, creating a trust provides tax benefits and helps ensure that your personal and financial matters remain private.

Upon your death or after sudden incapacitation, the appointed trustee will intervene and administer the estate per the terms of the trust documents.

The Role of the Trustee

A trustee is a person or entity chosen by the trustor to hold and administer trust property or assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries. Once appointed, the trustee will have the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Identify beneficiaries of the trust property.

  • Gather the deceased person’s assets placed in the trust.

  • Administer the trust according to the provisions of the trust documents.

  • Pay all administrative fees and expenses incurred during trust administration.

  • Pay taxes and settle debts before transferring remaining assets to beneficiaries.

  • Handle all financial matters and keep track of records on the estate’s behalf.

  • Prepare and file final tax returns and handle other tax-related matters.

  • Create a reserve fund to cover trust or estate-related expenses.

A knowledgeable lawyer can educate you more about the role of the trustee and enlighten you about some common issues that are often encountered during the trust administration process.

Common Trust Administration Issues

Here are some of the most common trust administration issues:

  • Accusations of trust fund mismanagement

  • Disputes regarding the authority of the secondary trustee

  • Outdated terms of the trust documents

  • Failure of the trustee to file tax returns

  • Contesting the validity of the trust documents

  • Failure of the trustor to transfer assets into the trust

  • Unclear instructions about trust property distribution to the beneficiaries

  • Incapacitated or deceased beneficiaries

Trust administration issues sometimes result in fierce legal battles. An experienced estate planning attorney can evaluate the facts of the case and work intelligently with all parties involved to settle any trust administration issues peacefully and quickly.

Work With an Experienced
Estate Planning Attorney

Establishing a trust helps your surviving family members bypass probate while your affairs are kept private and out of public record. However, drafting a trust and ensuring that it is valid requires detailed guidance. An experienced estate planning attorney can enlighten you about your various options and help you make thoughtful decisions.

At David W. Walker Attorney At Law, I have devoted my career to providing well-informed guidance and advocacy to individuals and families in estate planning and trust-related matters. Using my in-depth knowledge, I can guide you through the complex procedures involved in drafting trusts and other important estate planning documents.

Also, I will outline an effective strategy to preserve your family’s assets and protect your legacy. I can help you transfer your property, assets, and interests to your surviving family members – heirs, beneficiaries, and dependents – in accordance with your wishes. I will work diligently with your appointed trustee to navigate the trust administration process seamlessly and help mitigate potential issues.

Trust Administration Attorney Serving Columbia, Missouri

If you need proper guidance when drafting a trust or want to understand the trust administration process, contact my firm – David W. Walker Attorney At Law – today to schedule a simple consultation. I have the knowledgeable legal counsel and brilliant advocacy you need to make difficult decisions. My firm is proud to serve clients across Columbia, Boonville, Fulton, and Jefferson City, Missouri.