Montgomery County Trust Administration Lawyer
After a trust has been established and a trustee appointed, the trustee is tasked with the ongoing legal and fiduciary obligation to ensure that the terms of the trust are carried out according to the trust creator’s wishes. When a trusted friend or family member asks you to serve as a trustee to their trust, these duties can often seem overwhelming and potentially confusing, making it important to obtain sound advice.
A Montgomery County trust administration lawyer can help you understand your duties with respect to the administration of the trust, including filing necessary tax returns, providing the trust beneficiaries with required information and even distributing and investing trust assets to carry out the trust creator’s testamentary goals. By working with an experienced trusts lawyer, you can ease the burden of the process and make sure you are fulfilling your obligations.
Duties of a Trustee in Montgomery County
In Maryland, an individual who is appointed as a trustee has certain legally imposed obligations with respect to the trust and trust beneficiaries. The trustee’s primary responsibility is to manage the trust assets responsibly in order to ensure that the terms of the trust are carried out and the trust beneficiaries receive the benefits that the trust creator intended.
The trust document itself will specify that the trustee has a duty of care with respect to the beneficiaries, which, in many cases, means that the trustee may be required to seek out advice with respect to the administration of the trust. A trust administration lawyer can help trustees in Montgomery County:
- Make sound financial decisions with respect to the management of trust assets,
- Understand the potential impact of various tax elections and select the most appropriate course of action, and
- Determine what the terms of the trust document mean with respect to the beneficiary’s right to receive trust distributions.
Depending upon the terms of the trust itself, a trustee’s trust administration obligations may arise while the trust creator is still alive, or may only begin upon his or her death if the trust is a testamentary trust.
Tax Obligations in Trust Administration
An important part of trust administration involves making tax elections with respect to the trust and filing necessary tax returns. An irrevocable trust is generally treated as a separate entity that must file its own income tax returns each year in the same manner as an individual. Revocable trusts that take effect during life are, in many cases, treated as one and the same as the individual who created the trust for tax purposes. These trusts are known as grantor trusts, and often do not require a separate tax filing.
A trust administration lawyer in Montgomery County can help the trustee or trust creator with evaluating the income tax consequences of the trust format, as well as with filing the annual income tax returns. Upon the trust creator’s death, the trust administration lawyer will provide guidance with respect to any required estate tax returns or gift tax returns.
Depending upon the terms of the trust document, the trust may only become funded upon the death of the trust creator. In these cases, the trust administration lawyer can also ensure a smooth transition of the trust assets upon death.
Talk to a Montgomery County Trust Administration Attorney Today
Every Montgomery County trust document can be different, which makes the advice of a skilled Montgomery County trust administration lawyer essential to understanding your fiduciary obligations as trustee.
If you have been named the trustee of a trust, contact a trust administration lawyer who you can rely on in order to ensure that your obligations are satisfied and avoid potential legal liability and future conflict. Call today.