Compassionate Advocacy, Dedicated Service

A Trusted Ally For The Estate Administration Process

The death of a loved brings several legal and financial challenges. At The Law Office of Anne Sunne Freeman in Palm Harbor, we have extensive experience representing executors, administrators, heirs, beneficiaries and others with interests in estates in Florida. Attorney Anne Sunne Freeman will provide you with the guidance and representation you need to meet the challenges of the estate administration process.

Two of the most common ways to distribute assets in an estate plan are to use trusts and a will. A will is a written document created by your loved one, also known as a testator, that outlines their final wishes. Upon the death of your loved one, someone is named the executor of the estate and is responsible for carrying out the instructions in the will. Similarly, trusts are legal instruments created to allocate assets. The creator of a trust is called a trustor. If you are named a trustee of a trust, it is your responsibility to manage assets for beneficiaries.

Responsibilities Of A Trustee In Managing A Trust In Florida

Being a trustee involves significant responsibility and liability. The key responsibilities of a trustee include:

  • Fiduciary duty: Trustees have a fiduciary duty. This means that they must act in the best interests of the trust beneficiary or beneficiaries. A trustee is not allowed to manage assets for self-profit.
  • Administration of trust: The trustee must fully understand the terms of the trust and how they should be followed. They must not act beyond the powers that the trust has given them. Often, the trustee will be tasked with managing assets, setting money aside and making investments. Such actions must always be based on precise instructions and decisions must be made in the best interests of the beneficiaries.
  • Investment of assets: Trustees may be responsible for making investments. Due diligence should be conducted beforehand, and investments should take into account the potential for growth, risks and the need for liquidity.
  • Impartiality for all beneficiaries: Anyone can be a beneficiary of a trust. Often, people use trusts as a means to secure assets for children and grandchildren to be passed on once they reach adulthood. The trustee has a legal duty to act impartially. Otherwise, a trustee vs. beneficiary dispute is likely.
  • Accounting and reporting: The trustee is also responsible for accounting, reporting invoices and receipts and keeping accurate records for the time specified within the trust.
  • Tax compliance: Some trusts incur tax liabilities, and it is the responsibility of the trustee to manage these. The trustee must file tax returns with the IRS to ensure the appropriate deductions are made.

A trustee administration lawyer can be an invaluable source of guidance and support.

Representing Executors And Administrators

If you have been appointed as the administrator or executor of an estate in Florida, you have several responsibilities that must be handled with care. Failure to perform your duties as prescribed by law could result in costly liabilities, including lawsuits.

We have extensive experience guiding executors and administrators through the estate administration process and can provide you with advice and representation regarding duties such as:

  • Accounting of estate assets
  • Collecting debts on behalf of the estate
  • Paying creditors to the estate
  • Distributing assets in accordance with a will
  • Filing tax returns

If you are engaged in a dispute over the administration of an estate in Florida, we can help you pursue a favorable and cost-effective outcome, while protecting your rights as a fiduciary.

Representing Heirs And Beneficiaries

There is much at stake for the heirs and beneficiaries of an estate. If you are in such a position, you want to make sure your loved one’s wishes are carried through and that your rights are protected in the process.

We have extensive experience handling estate litigation, including contentious disputes between family members. We understand the sensitive nature of these matters and strive to resolve them in an amicable manner whenever possible. When trial is necessary to protect a client’s interests, we are always prepared.

Discuss Your Legal Needs With An Experienced Lawyer

To learn how we can help you with your estate administration matter in Florida, please call our Palm Harbor law offices at 727-361-2472 or contact us online.

Suggested Reading

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