Trust administration rules are complicated. They involve state law on fiduciary duties. The trustee also has to worry about tax rules -- estate tax, income tax, and even generation skipping transfer taxes. Trustees have to provide accounting information, and sometimes some formalities about the style and timing of those requirements. Property management -- both for dealing with real estate and valuing, protecting, and distributing personal property -- can add challenges.
Then there are the interpersonal dynamics among trust beneficiaries. Oh, wait: the trustee might also be a beneficiary, raising conflicts of interest as a possible concern.
In this podcast discussion, we review how some of those complex principles interplay with one another in the real world. Join us for a little role-playing exercise that might ring true with your own trust (and family) situation.
Though you might face difficulty with trust administration, there are a number of strategies you can use to minimize mistakes and problems. Good legal advice and a competent CPA can make all the difference. You should contact your professional advisers before you liquidate trust assets, make decisions about distributions (even small amounts of personal property), identify trust beneficiaries or respond to requests for more information. That's exactly what those professionals train for.