How to Find an Estate Planning Attorney: A Step-by-Step Guide

Knowing how to find an estate attorney is a lot like knowing whether somebody is trustworthy or not. It requires you to have a keen sense of character and to be able to tell whether someone will be there when you need them.

In the worst of cases, you are not going to be able to tell if your estate attorney has done does their job or not, after all – it will be your heirs, your family & children who will need to work with them.  

Estate attorneys ensure, through planning, that a person’s assets, debts, and property are taken care of after they pass away.  In short, they are responsible for making sure everything you want to be passed down is passed down correctly. Most of all, they help you to make sure your last wishes are followed exactly as you wanted.

Keep reading below to learn how to find an estate lawyer you can trust!

Ask for Referrals

The best way to find someone worth hiring to handle your final wishes is to ask around. Almost everybody should have an estate lawyer, and chances are that the people around you have done their research on theirs. Simply ask them who they went with and look into the lawyer yourself!

Asking Other Professionals May Get Better Results

Nobody knows professionals like other professionals. They tend to have a keen sense of who to trust, and the quality of other peoples’ work. When you first start looking for an estate lawyer, you could try to get referrals from other kinds of lawyers.

A personal injury lawyer or a corporate lawyer likely will not have much particular interest at stake in giving you a fair assessment of an estate lawyer’s office. Check your network. You might be able to get both an honest opinion and a skillful evaluation of estate lawyers just by asking other lawyers about them.

Community Referrals Guarantee They Are Trustworthy

You are a part of your community, and you should take advantage of it. Talk to the people who know you about your search for an estate lawyer. There is a lot of people that end up using or needing an estate planning lawyer at some point in their life, and if someone already hired an estate lawyer they trust, it is at least possible that you will be able to develop a positive relationship with that lawyer too.

Research How to Find an Estate Lawyer Online

In addition to flexing your network, you may also wish to research estate lawyers online. Most law firms have reviews from actual clients either on their website or on their Google page. These reviews are usually from clients who felt compelled enough, positively or negatively, to share their experiences.

Read up on different law firms, including what they specialize in and what they are known for. That way, you will get a sense of how each law office is different and what you need from the one you go with. 

Besides using your favorite search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo), you can also use websites like NOLO, FindLaw, and AVVO. These websites specialize in finding lawyers based on location and specialty. They also contain contact info and reviews for each law firm.

**Bonus, if they have a blog, like ours, you will be well-read on what goes into estate law too!

You Need an Estate Lawyer that You Can Trust

Knowing how to find an estate attorney is a lot like knowing how to trust a person. You need to talk to them and get a sense of their character. You also need to see examples of how they manage their work, and whether people tend to be satisfied with it.

You can reach out to us to schedule a time to speak about what you are looking for in an estate lawyer. We understand how important family is and will work to make sure everyone in it is taken care of when you are not here to do it yourself.

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Four Types of Wills to Choose From For Your Estate Plan

Besides your birth certificate and marriage license, your last will and testament is one of the most important documents you will ever own.

Did you know there is more than one type of will to choose from?

Depending on how many assets you own and the nature of your family, you may need multiple wills and trust documents when planning your estate.

While this is not an exhaustive list, here are the four most often used types of wills. Keep reading to learn more about choosing the right will for you.

Simple Will

As the name implies, this will is a straightforward document spelling out what to do with the assets of your estate after your death.

Wills need to be typed out, not handwritten. They should have the date they are signed rather than the day they are written out.

If you have a relatively small and easy to handle collection of assets, a simple will does the job just fine. It is still smart to hire an attorney to save you from mistakes with unforeseen legal consequences for your family.

Joint Will

Joint wills are for married couples who want to leave all their assets to their surviving spouse.

It is important for each spouse to have their own estate planning documents. But a joint will makes sure the living spouse inherits everything from the partner who passes away first. It also specifies what will happen to the total of both assets once the remaining spouse has passed on.

Writing up this kind of will is an excellent opportunity for you and your spouse to inventory everything you both own so nothing falls through the cracks. You will have the chance to work together to make sure both your wishes are met and your family is well prepared for the future.

Testamentary Trust Will

This will specifies exactly which of your assets will be given to the trust you have made for each beneficiary.

In other words, a testamentary trust will is the most efficient way to make sure your loved ones get their inheritance from you with no hiccups. This type of will protects your assets and reduces inheritance income taxes for your beneficiaries. 

Living Will

A living will is only effective while you are alive and does not decide ownership of your assets after death.

This will gives detailed instructions regarding what medical procedures you are and are not comfortable with, in the event that you cannot give consent yourself. Say, for example, you fall into a coma or become too sick to stay coherent—your living will gives the person with medical power of attorney a set of directions.

More About Different Types of Wills

You do not need to be rich to start planning your estate. Writing up your will is a great first step.

Planning your estate is a process and will not happen overnight. Think about choosing someone to have power of attorney over your finances and medical needs in addition to writing up a will with your attorney.

For more information about even more types of wills, contact one of our skilled legacy lawyers for a consultation today.

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7 Reasons to Consider a Living Trust

A valid will is not enough to ensure the security and timely distribution of your assets in accordance with your wishes when you die.  You should consider establishing a living trust in addition to your will.

The larger the value of your estate, the greater the need to create a living trust and ensure the transfer of your significant assets into it while you are still alive.

Read on to find out more about the seven reasons to consider a living trust that will protect your estate and save your heirs time and money.

But, first…

What Is a Living Trust?

living trust is a legal, enforceable document that holds property transferred by the Grantor (aka the Trustor, which is the person or persons who created the trust) for the benefit of others (the beneficiaries) and managed by the Trustee.

It is called a “living” trust because it is established while the Grantor (Trustor) is still alive. It can be designated as either revocable or irrevocable. A revocable trust can be revoked or amended by the Grantor, who signs the trust document. 

Let’s say you have decided that a living trust is well worth the extra time and expense of setting it up (it is more complex than just making out your last will). You need professional advice in order to get it done right. Learn more here.

The primary purpose of a living trust is to manage your assets during your lifetime and to enable this property to be distributed to your beneficiaries (e.g., surviving spouse or children) easily, without having to go through probate.

What Are the Benefits of a Living Trust?

There are several reasons to have a living trust created, but it is not needed in every case. For a young married couple with few assets and no children, just having a will may be good enough. 

But, for situations where assets have been accumulated and you want to ensure timely and orderly distribution to your beneficiaries upon your death, read on.

Avoid Probate

One of the biggest reasons to have a living trust is to avoid probate.  Probate is a legal mechanism by which the decedent’s estate gets settled under the supervision of the court, or judicial authority.  Unless there is a living trust set up!

The purpose of probate is to prevent fraud after someone’s death. The court must determine the validity of the will, that all pertinent people have been notified, that all property has been identified and appraised, and that all creditors and taxes have been paid.   

Only after all that has been done will the court allow distribution of assets and closing of the estate. Until then, it is a waiting game for the beneficiaries.

Once you die, South Carolina law requires that your will is to be delivered to the Probate Court within thirty (30) days — unless you have a living trust. 

The key to avoiding probate is to ensure that the trust is “funded” before you pass away. You must transfer ownership (separate paperwork) of all your significant property, cash, stocks, and bonds to the trust — to be administered by the Trustee. 

South Carolina has a “small estate” limit of $25,000. There is simplified probate (called an out-of-court affidavit procedure)  available in South Carolina:

  • If the value of property passing by will or under the law — except for liens and encumbrances — is $25,000 or less, a probate judge may approve the affidavit
  • There is a 30-day waiting period

Decreased Estate Taxes

If you are married, the trust can provide for estate tax savings, especially if it is a joint living trust. Of course, much of the savings depend on the value of your estate at the time of your death. 

Also, any costs associated with the probate process are deducted from the estate. So are any court costs associated with contesting a will. Those costs could be avoided if a living trust is legally and properly established and funded.

Greater Privacy for Your Beneficiaries

A will is a public document and all probate proceedings associated with that will become a matter of public record (including listing your assets). A living trust is a private document and distribution of your estate upon your death is private, too.

Protects Your Interests during Your Lifetime

Once your living trust has been created and funded, if you later become incapacitated, the successor trustee you designated will be able to manage the trust assets for your benefit — without any court intervention.

This is a big benefit for people who are single or those who do not have children. The living trust arrangement ensures that you are provided for during your lifetime even if you cannot make decisions for yourself.

This is important, though. As long as it is set up as a revocable living trust, if you dispute the determination of your incapacity, you can revoke the trust and retain control yourself.

Protects Your Minor Children

Minor children are often not responsible enough to manage large sums of money themselves. The trust can be set up to disperse money to children when they get older and more mature, or even to distribute funds staggered over a range of ages.

Protects Your Adult Children

Some adult children may never be able to manage an inheritance on their own, maybe due to a substance abuse problem or just because they are frivolous with money management. The trustee can dispense funds as needed over time.

Keeps Your Assets Out of Unwanted Hands

Say you have a child who is marrying a person you do not care for. What if they were to divorce? You do not want half of your assets winding up with your child’s ex-spouse.  

These Are Great Reasons to Consider a Living Trust

At Indigo Family Law, we are experienced at creating living trusts. Our team can help you go through the complexities of getting one in place to benefit you and your heirs. 

Now that you know why you should consider a living trust, contact us today and let us help you get all your questions answered.

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Facts You May Not Have Known About Estate Taxes

Thinking about passing on your estate to your children or grandchildren? 

You best cross your “t”s and dot your “i”s.

If you are thinking about passing on your estate, you have probably heard rumors about taxes. But what do they mean for you and your family? 

Here, we will dive into 5 fascinating facts about estate taxes so you have a better idea of what to expect. 

South Carolina Is an Ideal State to Pass Away In

Estate taxes vary from state to state. Some states enforce estate taxes, although the amounts change. Others do not enforce them at all. 

South Carolina is one of the states that does not impose either estate or inheritance taxes. Prior to 2005, the state had a “sponge tax” which took a portion of estate taxes given to the federal government. 

Now, however, the state does not impose any “death” tax. 

Other citizens are not so lucky and must pay careful attention to tax laws. Regardless of how carefully individuals have drawn up a will, inheritors may face stiff taxes depending upon location. 

Estate Taxes Do Not Apply to Most Americans

Put your fears to bed: the estate tax does not affect most Americans. In fact, you must be in the wealthiest tier of citizens to experience the tax. 

Prior to 2017, only 2 in 1,000 estates faced a tax. That number fell to 1 in 1,000 after exemptions doubled.

More than likely, the estate tax will not affect you or your family. Of course, that does not mean you should not partake in estate planning

Many Families Might Be Shocked in 2025

In 2025, exemption rates will drop to half what they are now, affecting estates worth approximately $5.5 million per individual.

Because the rates increased recently, many families assume the tax will not ever apply to them. The change may come as a nasty shock to many. 

This, again, is why estate planning is so important. Changes in tax laws mean individuals should update wills regularly, otherwise they may find themselves in a similar situation as actor Philip Seymour Hoffman’s family

Hoffman left his estate to his only child at the time he drafted his will but failed to update it after tax laws changed and he had additional children. Consequently, his wife and remaining children suffered. 

Other Countries Tax More

America has an estate tax rate at 40%. Does that sound steep? Not compared to some other countries. 

Japan has the highest rate of all at 55%. South Korea follows with 50% and France comes in third with 45%. 

America falls fourth in line when determining which countries have the highest estate taxes.

It Is Nothing New

The estate tax has existed for centuries. In fact, it was common during the medieval era. 

During this period, kings demanded payment in the forms of “reliefs” from heirs who received property. It was from this notion that many European countries created the idea of inheritance and estate taxes. 

Protect Your Family’s Future

Estate taxes may not concern you. However, it is important to understand the changing laws regarding wills, property and more so that your family is secure. 

Changes in your personal life as well as in the government may have unforeseen results, which is why our professionals are available to help. We will ensure your family is protected from these changes, and we will work to create an estate plan that reflects your legacy. 

Call us today to discuss strategies and to secure your family’s future.  

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5 Facts to Help You Understanding the Importance of Estate Planning

5 Facts to Help You Understanding the Importance of Estate Planning.

When is the last time you stayed in a castle?

That is the first thing you picture when someone starts talking about their estate, right?

It would be nice if we all had several million dollars and a boat to leave for each of our kids. But you do not need to be on a first-name basis with Bill Gates to start deciding what to do with your assets in the event of your death.

We have put together these five important facts to help you understand estate planning. Life is unpredictable, and you do not want to leave your family unprepared.

Keep reading to learn more.

You Have an Estate Even if You Rent

Your estate is everything you own and all the financial information attached to your name.

The word “estate” usually sends people daydreaming about mansions and golf courses. But if you own a car and have a bank account, those count as part of your estate, legally speaking.

Even if you are still working your way out of debt and renting an apartment, everyone has an estate worth planning.

Your Will is Just the Beginning

Estate planning is a detailed process that takes time. It is not just one document, and there is so much more to plan besides which kid gets your novelty coin collection.

Planning an estate typically includes:

  • Assigning financial power of attorney
  • Assigning medical power of attorney
  • Creating advance directives for your healthcare
  • Putting aside money for funeral expenses
  • Creating a living trust

Do not stress! Start slowly with a will, and keep scheduling the time to add more as you keep thinking about what you want.

If You Do not Decide, Uncle Sam Will

Anyone who dies without a will or any kind of estate planning leaves the future of all of their assets to the state government.

This does not mean the state government takes everything you have. But it does mean you have no way of knowing which relatives will get what.

It is Not as Expensive as You Think

You do not have to spend a fortune to plan your estate.

Though there are legal fees involved with filing these documents, paying ahead of time reduces expenses for your family after your death. While you are spacing out appointments to estate plan with your family lawyer, you will have time to save up for these fees.

You Are Never Too Young to Start

Estate planning is not just for AARP members.

Because estate planning is a process, the sooner you start, the better. And while death is not a light-hearted subject, it is still a significant financial event you need to be prepared for.

Think of it as investing in your future and investing in your family. The sooner you start the estate planning process, the more time you will have to figure out every last detail.

Still Do Not Understand Estate Planning?

For even more information to help you understand estate planning, check out more from our blog.

Better yet, do not wait.

Schedule a consultation with one of our skilled estate lawyers today.

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5 Helpful Tips of Estate Planning so You Don’t Pull Your Hair Out

Nobody enjoys thinking about their mortality, and sorting through legal documents is not what most people would call a good time. This hesitation makes sorting through legal documents about your eventual death seem dangerously stressful and, perhaps, dull.

That is probably why half of us do not have a will of any kind.

Relax. We have got some tips that help take the stress out of preparing for your future.

Keep reading to learn five essential tips of estate planning.

Know Your Worth

The most essential first step of estate planning is doing an inventory of all your assets.

Your total estate worth is so much more than just land you own. Any retirement fund, life insurance plan, Roth IRA, stock investments, collector’s items, and even your debt count as part of your estate.

Keep a detailed account of all your debts and assets in a safe place with the rest of your estate planning documents. Wherever you decide to keep these documents, make sure your family can quickly get to them.

Lawyer Up

The next thing you will need is an estate planning attorney. They will be able to help you navigate things like property taxes and drawing up your will.

Speaking of attorneys… Identify who you want to have power of attorney over you medically and financially.

Okay, so having power of attorney does not make you a lawyer. But whoever you assign power of attorney will be able to make decisions for you if you become unable to make those decisions for yourself for any reason.

Ex: If you are rendered unconscious in an accident, someone needs to be able to give consent for critical medical procedures.

Where There is a Will…

Your living will and last will might be the most important parts of your estate planning.

living will is also called an advance directive. It gives detailed instructions for your medical and financial power of attorney, so they know how to meet your needs best while you are still alive.

Your last will and testament give detailed instructions for what to do immediately following your death.

Plan Your Funeral, So They Do Not Have To

One of the most helpful tips of estate planning is putting money aside for your funeral arrangements in advance.

Do you want to donate your organs to people who need them? Would you prefer to be buried, or cremated?

Spell out your preferences, so your family has less to worry about.

Trust Your Beneficiaries

You get to pass on everything you own to the people you love two different ways:

With a trust; this dictates exactly who gets your property without going through a public court. Your trust determines who gets your car, your house, etc.

The people you name as beneficiaries will inherit the assets you own that are not physical pieces of property; including, bank balances, stocks, investments, etc.

More Tips for Estate Planning

For even more helpful legal information and tips of estate planning, stay tuned for more updates on our blog.

Do not be shy. Ask for a consultation with one of our skilled legal professionals today.

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4 Reasons Why Choosing Beneficiaries is a Good Thing

Having a family is one of life’s greatest joys. There is so much to look forward to — graduation, marriage, grandkids. Of course, these things require a lot of financial planning like 529 savings plans for college, or trust funds.

One thing we hate to think about, however, is how to plan for our loved ones’ financial well-being when we pass on. One of the ways you can make sure that your loved ones are taken care of is to set up beneficiaries for things such as life insurance and your estate.

Want to learn more about choosing beneficiaries? We have got you covered. Read on to learn about the reasons for selecting beneficiaries!

It Gives You More Control

You have control over your financial assets now, why would you not want control over their distribution when you pass on? 

If you pass without having a will or beneficiaries set up, then it is ultimately up to your next of kin to decide how to divide up your assets. In the event that there is a dispute over who should get what, then it will be up to a judge to make that decision.

Choosing beneficiaries now ensures that you are in complete control of your assets.

Choosing Beneficiaries Makes Distribution of Assets Less Stressful

We want to think that our family will be able to divide up assets in a civil manner. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. The stress of the loss of a family member and dividing up their assets can do a lot of damage to relationships.

By pre-planning who gets what, your loved ones can avoid the stress and hurt feelings of dividing up your assets. 

Your Beneficiaries Can Avoid a Lengthy Probate Process

Probate is a notoriously long process by which the executor or administrator of the estate manages the assets of the estate to make sure that all assets are collected, debts are paid, and all property is distributed. Probate is more complicated when there is not a will, or an existing will needs verification.

Not all property must go through probate. Most states will allow a certain amount of your estate to get passed on to your loved ones without going through probate first. Life insurance policy payouts can bypass the probate process entirely so long as there are designated beneficiaries.

Peace of Mind

If nothing else, setting up beneficiaries will give you the peace of mind that you have done everything that you can to make sure your loved ones will continue to prosper, even if you pass.

Estate planning may not be a fun thing to think about, but it is still incredibly important if you want your loved ones to enjoy financial stability after you pass on. When it comes to estate planning, it is never too soon to get started.

Ready to Set Up Your Beneficiaries?

Choosing beneficiaries for your estate and insurance is an incredibly important step in planning for your family after you pass on. Not only does it give you control of who gets what portion of your policies and estate, but it also prevents tension among family members.

Ready to start planning for your family and loved ones after you pass on? We can help guide you through the process. Contact us today to see how we can help you!

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What Are the Duties of an Administrator of a Will?

The administrator of a will plays a vital role in terms of making sure the deceased’s wishes are carried out.

They are responsible for managing the estate as it goes through probate.

They must follow the guidelines stated within the will in terms of dividing up assets and making sure that any special instructions are adhered to.

An administrator has several duties as the will moves through probate.

Prepare the Estate

The first duty of an administrator has to do with preparing the estate. This includes gathering any necessary documentation, creating an inventory of any known assets, researching to discover if any assets may have been hidden or undeclared, and creating a list of expenses or creditors. Public notices must be posted to inform possible creditors that if they are owed money by the deceased that they must come forward and file a claim against the estate. The administrator must also deal with any correspondence or court-related matters associated with the preparation of the estate. They may also have to sell real estate and other pieces of property, if necessary. 

Pay Off Existing Debts

During probate, debts will be introduced and verified. Existing debts, such as hospital bills, funeral expenses, mortgages, and other bank loans, are tested and can be paid as soon as the funds are available to do so. Once public notices are posted, possible debtors have a specific amount of time (usually 60 days from the date of the posting) to come forward and file their claim. Each claim will be researched and, if proven to be substantiated, will be paid with funds from the estate. Possible heirs must also come forward within that time frame if they believe they are entitled to a percentage of the estate.

Divide the Remaining Assets

Once the assets have been gathered and all of the expenses paid, the rest of the assets will be divided up according to the instructions within the will. In most cases, family members will receive a percentage of what is left over. A will may also contain a list of special instructions. The list may contain items that have been set aside for specific individuals. The deceased may also have created a list of charities and specific donation amounts that are to be given to each one. The division of assets is usually declared as part of the reading of the will. 

Finalizing the Probate Case

The last step in the process is completing the probate case. This step involves making a statement that declares that all of the instructions of the will have been followed and that all expenses have been paid. The statement must also include a list of how the remaining assets were distributed. The administrator is also responsible for filing any tax documents and final declarations with the courts. They will continue to be responsible for the will until the court declares the case closed in probate court.

Call Indigo Family Law Today!

Being named the administrator of a will is a huge responsibility. It requires diligence in terms of making sure all assets are collected and inventoried. All expenses must be verified and paid according to the law, and remaining assets must be dispersed as noted in the will. An administrator will work hand in hand with the attorney who wrote the will if any legal situations arise during probate. Contact Indigo Family Law today if you need assistance working through administering a will.

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How Long Does a Case Stay in Probate Court?

Probate is a long and drawn-out process that must proceed according to the laws of each state. It is required that a complete inventory of the deceased’s assets be completed in a timely fashion. In most cases, this is approximately 90 days.

Notifying the Beneficiaries of an Estate

Typically, beneficiaries must be notified within 60 days of a probate hearing. This allows them to make arrangements for any inheritance taxes that may need to be paid. Public notices must also be posted to inform individuals who may have a right to a portion of the estate but not otherwise listed in the will or other legal documents. In most states, if a person believes they have a right to a portion of the estate, they only have a specific amount of time to contact the administrator of the estate in writing.

Creditors’ Claims on an Estate

Creditors must also notify the administrator of any claims that are owed to them by the deceased. In most states, the time frame to file these types of claims is limited to 30 days. Each state is different, however, and the timeframes are strictly enforced. For their claim to be considered, creditors must have valid documentation and receipts to offer support. Once the claim has been verified and substantiated, it will be paid as part of the estate’s expenses. Creditors can be notified in a variety of ways, including the public notices that are posted.

Dispersing the Assets of an Estate

All of these steps within the probate process can take several months to complete. All of the debts and expenses associated with the case must be paid before any of the assets can be distributed to the beneficiaries. Depending on the size and value of the estate, beneficiaries can expect to start receiving their inheritance between four and eight months after all of the expenses have been paid and other legal matters have been settled. If the estate is rather large and businesses are involved, the length of time it takes to complete the probate process can take several months. In some cases, it may take several years for a probate case to reach completion.

Contesting a Will

A probate case can be extended if a will is contested. If a dispute arises between two or more of the intended beneficiaries, specific steps will need to be taken to determine the validity of each of the beneficiary’s claims. While the administrator will attempt to stick to the will as much as possible, there will be times when a decision is made to “break the will” and alter how the deceased’s assets are distributed. This usually only occurs with estates that are rather large or that involve several businesses or assets. For a person to contest a will, they must inform the administrator in writing and provides reasons as to why they believe they should be included.

How to Get Help With Your Estate & Probate

Probate cases take time to resolve.

If you have questions about probate, wills, trusts, or any estate law, call the professional staff at Indigo Family Law.

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The Role of a Trustee in Your Family Trust

It may sound awkward, but many people find themselves being named as a trustee for the estate of a family member, loved one, or business partner and find themselves asking, “What is a trustee, what do they do, and how did I become one?”

If you have found yourself in this unenviable situation, not to worry ‒ we are here to help.

What Is a Trustee?

Investopedia defines a trustee as“A trustee is a person or firm that holds and administers property or assets for the benefit of a third party. A trustee may be appointed for a wide variety of purposes, such as in the case of a bankruptcy, for a charity, for a trust fund or certain types of retirement plans or pensions. Trustees are trusted to make decisions in the beneficiary’s best interests and often have a fiduciary responsibility to the trust beneficiaries.”

The Job of a Trustee

The responsibilities of a trustee include management of the assets that are identified within a trust. A lot of estate holders elect to act as their own trustee. This is a perfectly valid option. However, if the estate holder should become infirm or die unexpectedly, it is essential to have an estate plan set up in advance.  And this is likely what occurred to have you end up becoming a trustee.

Married couples often act as co-trustees, creating an automatic back-up policy in case one or the other becomes unable to manage a trust.

The Responsibilities of a Trustee

The most important thing for a trustee to keep in mind is that the items included in the trust are not their own. As the trustee, you are entrusted to the items in the trust and do not gain ownership of those items. A trustee’s job is to manage the assets within the trust in a manner that is in accordance with the best interests and wishes of the proper owner of those assets.

If this is at all confusing, you might think of a trustee as a guardian of the contents of a trust, but not the owner. It is similar to a security guard who protects a given property but does not own it.

The Do’s and Don’ts for a Trustee

There are five main do’s and don’ts for a trustee. These are just very basic things but will give you an idea of what your responsibilities as a trustee will be.

  • The Trustee must not mix trust assets with their assets. The trustee must always keep their checking accounts and investments separate from the assets of the trust.
  • The Trustee must not use assets contained in the trust for his or her benefit unless the owner authorizes the trustee to do so.
  • The Trustee must treat all trust beneficiaries equally; they may not favor any one beneficiary one over another (unless the owner of the trust allows it).
  • The trustee must ensure that trust assets are invested in a way that is both prudent and conservative, in such a way that will result in reasonable growth while exposing the assets to the minimum amount of risk.
  • The trustee is responsible for keeping full and accurate records, filing all necessary tax forms and making reports to beneficiaries as the trust requires.

Get Help As a Trustee

This may sound like a legal minefield to navigate. But do not worry; you do not have to manage the trust all by yourself. You can access the expertise of consultants, lawyers, and other professionals who will help you manage trust assets in a way that is both responsible and effective.

To learn more about the duties of a trustee, and get help managing your responsibilities, get in touch with the estate planning legal experts at Indigo Family Law today.

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