There are many different kinds of trusts and fiduciaries may act as the trustee or successor trustee.

One main type of trust is a revocable trust. The purpose of this type of trust is to distribute the property of the trustor to the individuals or entities named as beneficiaries in the trust. Many people create trusts in order to avoid a probate proceeding. One of the biggest mistakes seen by our office is the trustor’s failure to “fund” the trust. Funding a trust means that the trustor retitles their individual assets in the name of their trust. Failure to title (or transfer) all of the personal assets of the trustor into their trust before their death could still result in the need to file a probate proceeding. It is very important that individuals seeking the creation of a trust seek the advice of legal counsel.

Another type of trust is a Special Needs Trust (SNT). A SNT is created to segregate assets for a disabled individual to allow the assets to be used to supplement services being provided to the beneficiary by public benefit programs. Many parents created SNT’s for a disabled child as part of their estate planning as it allows for them to leave funds to provide additional services to their child while preserving their ability to maintain their public benefits.

Entrust can be named as a trustee or a successor trustee by a competent individual when creating their estate plan. Entrust has contracted with competent individuals to act as trustee of both revocable trust and special needs trust. Entrust will also act as co-trustee with competent individuals.

In most instances trust administration is not managed or overseen by the Superior Court. In some instances there may be a dispute involving the trust or there may be no available trustee. In those instances, the court has appointed Entrust to act as the trustee or successor trustee. The court may choose to continue to monitor the trust by requiring an annual accounting be filed with the court. With or without court supervision, a trustee is required to provide a written accounting to all beneficiaries at least annually and more often if requested in writing.

Before choosing a successor trustee, consider reading¬†“What It Means to Be a Trustee: A Guide of Clients” by the American College of Trust and Estate Administration. This guide will outline the roles and responsibilities of a trustee. Trust administration can be complex; ensure you chose an individual who understands their responsibilities and has the experience to administer your trust.

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