Revocable trust on a wooden desk.

Trust Administration

If you have been nominated as the Trustee under a Decedent’s Trust or Testamentary Will, you will be faced with a number of important and time sensitive legal and tax decisions. SG LAW can assist you through the process in the event you decide to honor the Decedent or Grantor’s wishes and accept your appointment as Trustee.

A thorough review of the Trust is essential to ensure that your job as the Trustee is being properly executed. It is also your responsibility to ensure that a full inventory of the Decedent’s assets are obtained through a comprehensive review of the Decedent’s financial affairs and discussion with the Decedent’s family members.

As Trustee, you become responsible, among other things, for preparing and transmitting periodic accountings for the benefit of the beneficiaries of the Trust. Given the recent implementation of the Illinois Trust Code, these requirements are highly technical and unforgiving if not properly met. The following are some of the tasks you can expect to take on as the Trustee:

  • Prepare an Inventory of all assets owned or titled in the name of the Trust.
  • Determine if there are any other assets that belong to the decedent that need to be brought into the Trust via probate proceeding.
  • Determine who the current beneficiaries are of the Trust.
  • Determine who the contingent beneficiaries are in the event the current beneficiaries no longer exist.
  • Determine the tax liability for the Trust and file appropriate income tax returns for the Trust and estate, as necessary
  • Determine investment decisions for the assets of the estate.
  • If the Trust involves minor children, then come up with a distribution scheme along with the Guardian to ensure that the funds are spent for the stated purpose for the benefit of the minor beneficiaries.
  • Depending on the terms of the Trust, Trustees may be entitled to reasonable compensation for the tasks performed – However, Trustees should keep a detailed log of their time spent and tasks completed in case there are any questions from the beneficiaries or creditors of the trust estate.
  • Many more tasks depending on the assets in the trust estate and age and status of the beneficiaries.

SG LAW will assist the Trustee through these various matters. It is important for the Trustee to have proper legal counsel throughout the trust administration process. Any missteps or failure to follow the law may lead to imposition of personal liability on the Trustee.