Your family or friend has chosen you to handle his or her living trust after passing away. If your loved one chose you, it was more likely because he or she trusted you and believed you had the ability to handle the living trust responsibly. Managing a living trust could be as easy selling one or two assets to settle the estate. Or, it can get complicated if the beneficiaries contest or there are certain assets not included in the trust. Here are 10 tips that could help you during the process.
- Read the Living Trust and gather all financial information as well as any debt information
- Request multiple certified copies of the death certificate (you will need originals to liquidate assets)
- Be informed on the steps and how long it will take to settle the estate
- Keep accurate accounting in case the beneficiaries request it
- Select service providers who are experienced and knowledgeable in probate
- Take inventory of all personal possessions and real property
- Ensure that any real estate is properly insured and bills are paid
- Obtain date of death values for real estate, valuable personal items, and business interests
- Seek expert advise to understand the market when selling real property
- File tax return and pay taxes if applicable
It is already difficult enough to grieve for your loved one, and now having to deal with the responsibility of settling his or her estate can be stressful. For this reason, it is important that you work with estate planning attorneys, real estate agents, estate auctioneers, etc. who are experienced in trusts and probate so they can help ease the burden. If you or anyone you know is going through this situation, feel free to contact me so I can help guide you through the steps and provide you with contact information on other servicers and professionals who can help you.