Loveland | Grace | Hurley, PLLC offers expert legal guidance to both beneficiaries and fiduciaries involved in the Trust Administration process. Trust Administration is a mechanism that protects one’s assets by, first, creating a trust with a specified legal outcome, and second, managing the trust assets and ensuring their distribution according to the Trust Agreement. The Texas Trust Code provides that a trustee shall administer a trust according to the trust terms and the Texas Trust Code. If the terms of the Trust conflict with the Texas Trust Code, the Trust document controls. Accordingly, it is imperative that a trustee and trust beneficiaries and understand the Trust Agreement, specifically with regard to distributions and management of assets.
Avoid trust administration pitfalls.
Trust Administration Process
The time and difficulty involved in the Trust Administration process is dependent upon the type of trust, trust agreement terms, beneficiary dynamics, and the size of the trust estate.
The appointed trustee’s job is to administer the trust, which could include:
- Settling any debts
- Paying taxes
- Transferring property titles
- Collecting, managing, investing, and distributing trust assets
Trust Administration involves many complicated steps to settle the trust and distribute the assets to the named beneficiaries. As a fiduciary, the trustee has complex ethical and legal obligations to protect trust assets while also acting in a beneficiary’s best interests. A Trustee owes fiduciary duties to the beneficiaries of the Trust. A fiduciary duty is the highest duty recognized by law and requires a trustee to place the needs and interests of the beneficiaries above their own interests.
In the event a trustee breaches one of their fiduciary duties to a beneficiary, the beneficiary may have a cause of action against the trustee for damages. Recovery for a breach of fiduciary duty could include not only economic damages but mental-anguish damages and exemplary damages as well. Additional remedies can include disgorgement of any fees charged by the Trustee while serving as trustee of the Trust.
Loveland | Grace | Hurley, PLLC assists both trustees and trust beneficiaries with the Trust Administration process. With the right representation, trustees and trust beneficiaries can avoid the potential legal pitfalls involved in Trust Administration. Our firm’s attorneys include experienced trust litigation attorneys and attorneys who are board certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Our attorneys are knowledgeable in the nuances of trust and estate law, fiduciary liability, and resultant tax ramifications.