Trustee Services

A Trustee is someone who manages and administers the trust estate of another individual. A Trustee is typically nominated by an individual in his or her personal Trust document, but occasionally a Trustee may be appointed in a court proceeding if questions or arguments concerning the Trust document arise.

A Trustee serves a dual role in the estate plan of an individual. Trust documents are intended to not only benefit an individual during his or her lifetime, but to give direction as to the distribution of his or her estate after death. The majority of Trusts created are first for the benefit of the person creating the Trust, and then for the benefit of other individuals or charities following the death of the Trust's creator (commonly referred to as the "Settlor"). If the Settlor is later determined to be incapacitated and unable to take care of his or her financial affairs, the named Trustee can assist with paying bills, investing assets, managing real estate, filing tax returns, and performing many other financial duties, during the lifetime of the Settlor. The establishment of a Trust can avoid the need for legal conservatorship proceedings for the Settlor and other beneficiaries of a Trust, making the administration of the Settlor's estate efficient and cost effective.

Following the Settlor's death, a Trustee assumes many of the same duties as a Personal Representative. A Trustee must value all trust assets as of the date of the Settlor's death, settle the debts of the Settlor and any creditor claims against the trust estate, ensure that all tax filing obligations are satisfied, and distribute the trust estate in accordance with the provisions of the Settlor's Trust. Sometimes, a beneficiary's interest may need to be held in the Trust until the beneficiary reaches a certain age or meets a specific criteria, in which case a Trustee must keep the assets of the trust estate protected and productive for the needs of the beneficiary.

Trustees must act in an effective and ethical fashion, and must treat all beneficiaries justly and fairly. Trustees are required to maintain meticulous accounting records and provide accounting reports to all qualified beneficiaries on at least an annual basis.

Jeanette's financial and legal experience, skill, and knowledge enables her to administer your Trust in an economic and efficient manner. How you wish to be cared for during your lifetime is Jeanette's primary focus as your Trustee and she will prudently manage your financial estate so that you can live in the lifestyle to which you are accustomed. After your death, Jeanette will timely administer your trust estate, including the settlement of your final debts and providing required accountings to your beneficiaries. If a dispute arises among your beneficiaries, Jeanette will work diligently to resolve the dispute. Should legal action be required to settle a dispute, Jeanette will initiate the court proceedings necessary to defend your trust plan and your expressed wishes.

Trustee Services include:
  • Locate, identify, and safeguard assets held in the Trust
  • Preparation of trust inventories and accountings
  • Negotiation and settlement of creditor claims of the Trustor and/or estate
  • Investment of assets
  • Bill paying and budgeting
  • Filing of annual income, gift, fiduciary, and estate tax returns, as needed
  • Identify and manage unique assets and interests of the Settlor, such as corporate ownership interests and valuable personal property items.
  • Resolution of disputes among trust beneficiaries
  • Timely allocation, administration, and distribution of the trust estate