Somerset Trust Administration Lawyer

Being named as the fiduciary of a trust can be an overwhelming responsibility. There are extensive duties a trustee must undertake, including preserving estate assets, resolving beneficiary disputes, and managing probate and tax filing requirements. Trustees who fail to protect and distribute assets could be personally liable for these losses.

To avoid this outcome, an experienced Somerset trust administration lawyer can help you review and interpret trust documents and provide guidance on carrying out a decedent’s final wishes. If you need help with the responsibilities involved in being a trustee, don’t hesitate to call a trusts attorney at Sechler Law Firm.

The Basics of Trust Administration

A trust creator, also known as the grantor, can transfer all or some of their assets into a trust. Once this property is in a trust, it is no longer owned by the grantor. The trust administration process occurs after the grantor’s death and is similar to probate with less court oversight.

Every valid trust must name a trustee to pay off outstanding debt and taxes before distributing assets. The trustee must provide notifications to all interested parties during the administration process. They must also maintain accurate records of estate assets and income, which may require ordering appraisals to determine the value of a property.

When someone dies with a revocable trust, their estate may avoid the probate process. However, the trust fiduciary will still have specific responsibilities similar to those of an estate representative. They must gather assets and outstanding debt, pay bills and taxes, and distribute property to beneficiaries.

While the administration of a trust is a more straightforward process than navigating probate, you must follow the estate statutes to protect yourself from extra costs and time-consuming litigation. A Somerset attorney could help you complete the entire trust administration process as required by state and federal laws.

Inheritance Tax in Somerset

A trustee is also responsible for ensuring beneficiaries pay an inheritance tax within nine months of the grantor’s death. This tax applies to all of an estate’s assets except life insurance policies. According to Pennsylvania Statutes § 3703, if the trustee sends tax payments within three months of the death, there is a three percent discount.

The tax rate is 4.5 percent of the inheritance for all children, grandchildren, and parents. Siblings and non-relative beneficiaries pay 12 and 15 percent in inheritance tax. There is no inheritance tax for the deceased’s spouse or on assets a grantor leaves to a qualified charitable organization. A knowledgeable local lawyer could answer questions about inheritance tax and other statutes that may apply to the trust administration process.

Contact a Somerset Trust Administration Attorney Today

The administration of a trust requires attending to many different responsibilities, each with stringent requirements. Therefore, it’s wise to seek guidance from a skilled Somerset trust administration lawyer while navigating this challenging process.

A dedicated legal professional at Sechler Law Firm could provide sound legal advice and ensure you successfully administer a trust in accordance with the grantor’s final wishes. We also offer workshops and additional resources to help families work through these legal processes. Call today to schedule a consultation with our legal team.