Phoenix Trust Administration Lawyer

Sound Guidance and Action to Accomplish Trust Administration in Arizona

A trust is basically a way of holding property that separates the rights and responsibilities of ownership from its benefits. A trustee administers trust property on behalf of a beneficiary according to the terms of the trust itself.

Although trusts of different kinds can serve a wide variety of purposes, many people have used revocable living trusts as a way to keep property out of probate after they die. While it's true that a properly created living trust can hold and transfer property so as to keep it out of probate after death, the responsibilities of trust administration can be complicated.

If you need advice about the duties of a successor trustee under a revocable living trust, please contact me, Phoenix trust administration attorney Brian S. Starr. I deal personally and directly with all inquiries to Starr Law Firm, and I am always prepared to answer your questions and help you avoid headaches and possible liability.

Providing Clarity and Confidence for You as a Trustee

I provide comprehensive client service that often helps my clients avoid disputes with beneficiaries or between beneficiaries. I can also advise you on the full range of your responsibilities as a trustee, from reporting to asset management to tax returns.

Professional trust officers usually perform the duties of a trustee under complex corporate or charitable trusts, but just about anyone can be named as the successor trustee when the original trustee dies (assuming the trust is still amendable). The successor trustee's job can be complicated from the get-go, because the transfer of responsibilities isn't automatic. I can advise you about transference and other essential duties, including:

  • Notice to beneficiaries
  • Inventory and appraisal of trust assets
  • Trust accounting and reporting
  • Expense reporting and recovery
  • Trust and fiduciary tax returns

Parents who set up certain trusts for their children can face transference issues when one of the parents dies, especially where stepchildren are involved. If a trust isn't properly administered, it could represent a breach of fiduciary duty and lead to legal action. I can review the trust documents and help you carry out the terms. I can also advise the family if the surviving spouse remarries and new trustees are involved.

When Trusts Need to Be Split Into Sub-Trusts

Some trusts must be split into sub-trusts when a trustee dies, especially when bypass or credit shelter trusts are used to double the value of an estate tax exemption on the death of the first spouse. Improper trust administration in these cases can result in the loss of thousands if you don't keep your trust compliant with federal tax law. As your lawyer, I will help protect the full benefits of your estate plan through additional tax planning components and guarding against potential remainder beneficiary issues involving stepchildren.

Contact a Proven Phoenix and Scottsdale Asset Distribution Attorney

I take pride in delivering sound legal advice and forming strategies that can reduce the burdens and risks of trust administration. I encourage you to contact me anytime to schedule a consultation at my conveniently located office in North Central Phoenix, just off the 51 Freeway.