The administration of trusts can get complex. Don't do it alone

You may have been flattered when your Palm Beach relative came to you asking if you would be an integral part of his or her estate plan. Now that he or she has passed away, you find yourself being appointed the successor trustee to his or her trust. You may be finding out too late that the administration of trusts can get complex and requires you to complete numerous duties, and now you are unsure how to proceed.

In addition to being responsible for distributing the assets in the trust to the beneficiaries in accordance with its provisions, you will also be responsible for making sure the assets are appropriately invested. You must keep accurate records and file any necessary tax returns. You will also need to keep in communication with the beneficiaries.

Even though you are tasked with carrying out the terms of the trust, you also take on a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries. These relationships are not always easy and could lead to disputes if you are not careful. Even if you make a mistake in good faith, you could find yourself facing allegations of breaching your fiduciary duty.

You may reduce this chance by enlisting the aid of a Palm Beach attorney experienced in the administration of trusts. He or she can provide you with the assistance and guidance you need in order to make the experience less stressful and frustrating for everyone involved. If any disputes or other complications arise, he or she can explain your legal options, advise you of your rights in a particular situation and advocate on your behalf.

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