What is Trust Administration?

Trust administration refers to the duties and procedures in which a trustee carries out the terms of a trust document. A trustee has a legal duty to the trust beneficiaries that includes proper administration of trust assets. The Trustee can be liable for damages caused by incorrect handling of trust assets or improper administration of the trust.

In order for a Trust administration to be initiated, the original last will and testament must be deposited with the circuit court. A notice of trust must be filed with the proper circuit court. This notice must contain required information. If an estate was previously opened, it will be filed in the probate case. If not, the notice will be filed and indexed by the Clerk.

Trust Administration versus Probate

The two are similar; however, the Probate process is more formal than Trust Administration.

Probate is court-supervised and is comprised of court-related filings. An attorney must assist with the Probate process and is not as intimate of a process.

Trust Administration is a lot more laid back – with little court involvement, if any – where the executed Trust allows the decedent’s assets to be settled more smoothly.

How long does Trust Administration take?

In many situations, Trust Administration can be much shorter than the Probate process, however, depending on the situation, it could take as long or longer than Probate. The length of the administration will depend on the goal and provisions of the trust. For example, if a beneficiary is a minor child, the trust administration may take a decade or longer.

Is an attorney necessary for Trust Administration?

Attorneys are not necessarily required for Trust Administration, as they are for Probate, but having an attorney assist you with Trust Administration can certainly make things easier for you as the Trustee. There are many tasks and requirements involved in trust administration, many of which involve legal, financial, or tax issues. Having a trusted advisor can make the process much less daunting and allow for greater efficiency.

If you would like more information about the steps involved in probate administration or trust administration in any county in Florida, as a beneficiary, heir, personal representative, or trustee, attorney Mark F. Moss can help you understand what steps you need to take. To arrange a confidential consultation, please call 904-329-7242 or inquire online today.

*Disclaimer: Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not legal advice. This is for informational purposes only. It is best to speak with an attorney about your specific situation, questions, assets, concerns, and needs.