Edmond Trust Administration Attorneys
Making Sure Your Trust Is in Good Hands
Creating a trust means you know the value of planning for your future. Many in Oklahoma create a living trust to avoid the trials of probate, especially as the state lacks a Uniform Probate Code that might otherwise simplify the process. You might also create a trust to benefit your children or a loved one with special needs. No matter the circumstance, trusts can work to protect assets and benefit your loved ones.
However, trusts work best when they are helmed by a highly competent trustee. Some will choose to appoint a family member or close friend, especially for a living trust whose maintenance will decline after assets are distributed following death. While this makes sense on paper, in practice, a trustee who is personally close to the trust’s author and their family can quickly result in unintended conflict.
A safer option is to choose a trustee who you are confident will do everything in their legal power to protect your assets and do right by your loved ones. Our Edmond trust administration lawyers at Gossen and Schaller, PLLC have over 20 years of combined legal experience and have managed trusts of all types for clients throughout Oklahoma. Our approach is meant to give you the peace of mind a robust trust is meant to engender, and our firm is proud of our client-first mentality to offer affordable, highly competent services.
Helping You in Your Role as a Trustee
If you have been named as the Successor Trustee to a loved one’s living trust, you might be initially overwhelmed by the responsibilities involved. In addition to managing the drafting and updating of trusts and serving as trustees ourselves, our team can assist and advise you on how to ably carry out your responsibilities.
Why You Should Consider Professional Trust Administration
You ideally want a trustee that practices good judgment and is honest and fair. It is understandable why you might want a close family member or friend to administrate your trust. You trust them, after all, and there can be a sense of familial duty and unity in caring for each other in all areas of life. Still, appointing someone with a personal investment with the trustor or beneficiaries can represent a substantial risk, especially if the chosen trustee is inexperienced in trust administration.
Trustees have a fiduciary duty to the settlor and their trust, meaning they are legally obligated to prioritize the health of the trust and its beneficiaries over any personal beliefs or misgivings. A trustee is unable to act in their own interest with the trust’s assets, violate the language or intentions of the trust, or otherwise act dishonestly when carrying out their responsibilities. The exact nature of the duties varies depending on the type and complexity of the trust.
In even the simplest of circumstances, administrating a trust can represent a substantial amount of work that can overwhelm the appointed trustee. A trustee assigned to a living trust once the trustor has passed away, often considered one of the less complex types, will still have to contact heirs, file taxes on behalf of the deceased, and inventory and distribute assets. Put simply, it is a lot of work.
Your chosen trustee, especially if they are a family member, may not be in an emotional position to accept the scale of the responsibility involved. Consider if you select your spouse as your successor trustee for a living trust; they will likely be devastated by the loss and be deep in the grieving process at the same time they are expected to carry out the complex, demanding needs of trust administration.
Finally, and though this is unpleasant to consider, some individuals may not honor the fiduciary duty of the trustee position. Whether it be a result of frustration about your intentions, extenuating conflicts with a beneficiary, or willful incompetence, it is possible for a trustee to simply not live up to their obligations, mismanage your estate, or openly defy your instructions in a trust. Beneficiaries can petition for the removal of a trustee should misconduct be discovered, but this will only further delay the carrying out of your wishes and represent additional headaches for your loved ones.
Hiring a professional trust administrator, like our Edmond trust administration attorneys, avoids all of the problems described above. Not only does our team have ample experience managing trusts in numerous types of situations, we are inherently unbiased. By hiring our firm to administrate your trust, you avoid any of the potential risks of familial conflict or personal complications. We are able to efficiently and competently manage the needs of your trust and can even maximize its value by drawing upon our over 20 years of experience.
While other law firms offering professional trustee administration offer impersonal service, we are committed to giving our clients the individualized, compassionate attention they deserve. We strive to ensure the goals of your trust are met in accordance with your wishes, and we are available to you and your loved ones whenever you need us. Our track record speaks for itself, and our Edmond trust administration lawyers at Gossen and Schaller, PLLC are ready to give you the affordable support you deserve.
“I really can’t recommend her enough nor will I ever forget the lasting impact she has had on our lives.”- Joan A. Clark
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