The loss of a loved one is often the most challenging time a person can go through because of the emotions at hand. The emotion is difficult enough without the additional stress of making decisions about the decedent’s affairs. If you have been nominated to oversee the administration of a loved one’s trust, you probably are wondering what to do.
Here is a general list of actions the Trustee must follow:
- Prepare application for tax identification number (if necessary)
- Lodge original Will with the Superior Court
- Notifications to all legal heirs and beneficiaries of the decedent
- Affidavit of death for each real estate holding
- Secure real estate
- Prepare an inventory of all assets
- Obtain date of death valuation for all accounts
- Open accounts in the name of the Trust with you named as the successor trustee (checking and savings (or money market) accounts)
- Forward decedent’s mail to a newly established PO box
- Cancel subscriptions, etc. and request refunds for unexpired terms
- Extend insurance coverage to protect estate for home, motor vehicles, etc., titled in decedent’s name
- File life insurance claims and request copies of Federal Form 712
- Complete Sworn Descriptive List detailing any expenses/liabilities the estate has incurred (such as funeral expenses)
We often hear that the entire situation is overwhelming and what makes it worse is that the Trustee can be personally liable for their actions as Trustee. We strongly encourage any Trustee to seek competent legal counsel by an experienced Estate Planning attorney.
Contact us today for experienced legal counsel in administering your family’s trust(s).