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What Is Trust Administration?

Trust Administration is a non-judicial process that is required after a person who has created a revocable trust has died. One reason that people create trusts is to avoid probate. In the past, the law did not require any significant process as to a trust after death. Now Florida Statutes require a process, which can be simple or complex.

Funding a trust means placing all assets into the name of the trust, or naming the trust as beneficiary of assets. If an asset is not in trust, or does not pass automatically to the trust or other persons, probate could be required as to that asset.

Florida law indicates that a trustee of a revocable trust must file a Notice of Trust with the court, file a document with beneficiaries to accept the duties of trustee, provide beneficiaries a copy of the trust, provide beneficiaries an inventory of the assets, and provide accountings to the beneficiaries. This may seem like the same requirements as would be necessary with probate, and in fact they are quite similar, but trust administration does not require court involvement.

If the beneficiaries are all in agreement, they can waive some or all of the statutory requirements of trust administration. A few items are still required, and the trustee should receive written waivers in order to avoid potential liability.

Certain documents may be required in order to prove to institutions that hold assets as to the power and authority of the successor trustee. We prepare a document that provides that information.

If a person dies owning real property in a revocable trust, or designated to be distributed to or through a revocable trust, certain documentation must be recorded in the public records of the county so that the title to the property is clear in the records. We prepare and record such documents as a separate service.

If you need assistance with trust administration, please contact our office.

Attorney Michael A. Pyle, of Pyle, Dellinger, & Naylor, PLLC. 1655 North Clyde Morris Blvd., Ste. 1, Daytona Beach. Phone: 386.615.9007. E-mail: mikep@pylelegal.com or website: www.pylelegal.com