Trust Administration

Catalyst Law works with Trustees to manage trust assets as directed by the trust document (sometimes called a “trust agreement” or “trust instrument”). Some trusts are created by a deceased person’s Will, and we assist Trustees of those trusts (sometimes called “testamentary trusts”) as well.

Trustees are responsible for administering the trust for the benefit of all current and future beneficiaries.

Trustee: A person given the responsibility for managing another person’s assets in trust with a legal obligation to follow the letter of the trust document and all other legal requirements.

The many different types of trusts require an understanding of the often outdated and complex trust language as well as state law governing trusts.

Revocable Trusts:  During the lifetime of the person who creates the revocable trust (“grantor,” and sometimes referred to as “settlor”), generally manages the trust. If a settlor becomes ill or incapacitated, a successor Trustee will take over the management of the revocable trust for the benefit of the settlor.

At the grantor’s death, the revocable trust transforms into an irrevocable (yet flexible) management tool for the assets it holds. The trust administration process is private, handled out of court for the most part, in contrast with the estate administration and probate process, much of which is public.

Irrevocable Trusts can be created during a donor’s lifetime or after his or her death. Some types of irrevocable trusts are as follows:

  • Testamentary Trusts
  • Trusts created under a decedent’s (formerly) Revocable Trust
  • Credit Shelter Trusts
  • Unified Credit Trusts
  • Marital Trusts
  • Bypass Trusts
  • Family Trusts
  • Grantor Trusts (including “intentionally defective grantor trusts”)
  • Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (“GRATs”)
  • Grantor Retained Unitrusts (“GRUTs”)
  • Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (“QPRTs”)
  • Gift Trusts
  • Trusts for Minors
  • Generation-Skipping Transfer Trusts
  • GST Dynasty Trusts
  • Life Insurance Trusts (“ILITs”)
  • Charitable Trusts (including Charitable Lead Trusts and Charitable Remainder Trusts)

The Catalyst Law team regularly works with Trustees of irrevocable trusts to ensure compliance with the terms of the trust instrument and applicable rules and regulations.

If you are appointed as a Trustee, our attorneys have the expertise help you understand your legal duties under the terms of the trust and state law, and provide both legal and practical advice to allow smooth administration of any long-term family trusts.

We pride ourselves on approaching potential trust disputes in a way that protects our clients’ interests without unnecessarily elevating family tensions. If the terms of a trust become impracticable for whatever reason, we can assist the Trustee or another interested party with amending the trust document, in many cases without court review. Contact us for more information.

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