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Are you the chosen trustee of an estate? It’s no simple task.

Our sincerest condolences if you are handling this during a time of grievance. At Stafford Law Firm, we understand this is a challenging time, and we are here to help make this process as easy on you as possible.

Stafford Law Firm Is Here To Help

If your loved one created a trust with a Houston trust company before their passing, we can immediately begin the trust administration process and keep it outside of probate court.

Our compassionate team will help you through the trust process. Let’s get started with locating all assets, handling any creditors, and working to ensure the trust is administered EXACTLY as planned.

Who Can We Help?

Our clients usually come to us after the recent loss of a loved one or client. Beneficiaries or family members are often left to shoulder the burden of public probate court. Trusted advisors urgently seek to inventory assets and ensure debts are paid. We all have the same common goal: Executing the deceased’s estate plan respectfully and responsibly.

How Does Trust Administration Work?

Every trust has at least one person titled a “trustee .”The trustee must execute or administer the trust upon their loved one’s death. They also aim to do so respectfully and within the guidelines of Houston estate law.

It is a TON of responsibility and liability to take on the role of trustee. Most of the time, we see a trustee who has never conducted a trust administration or has zero experience handling legal estate matters.

If that’s what you’re experiencing, don’t worry. It’s completely normal. Understand that the best course of action will be to hire a trust lawyer to guide you through the Houston trust administration process. An experienced attorney can give you peace of mind knowing the trust will be administered to your loved one’s wishes and expectations.

Our team at Stafford Law Firm will get started by:

  • Identifying the beneficiary designations of any assets owned by the deceased
  • Identifying which assets will have to enter Texas probate court
  • Determining whether there are any high-value assets
  • Coordinate appraisals to ensure we’ve calculated the estate’s real value

An experienced estate planning attorney in Houston can help reduce or eliminate any personal liabilities a trustee may face while settling the estate.

A Trustee’s Responsibilities

A trustee has a long list of responsibilities, with or without the help of an attorney:

  • Identifying, establishing, and continuing contact with beneficiaries
  • Notifying all beneficiaries, heirs, or other persons titled in the trust of the existence of the trust and their role in it
  • Preparing tax returns (State, federal, gift tax, and more)
  • Providing advice – in line with the deceased’s last wishes – on the distribution of insurance and benefits plans and jointly held assets
  • Ensuring all debts, expenses, creditors, and taxes are paid off
  • Identifying and collecting all assets, then determining an estate value

What Happens When You Complete a Trust Administration?

When the assets have been appropriately valued and accounted for, the trustee must begin the distribution of assets to any named beneficiaries in the trust.

They can also continue handling the trust for the future benefit of a beneficiary since children are not legally entitled to their inheritance until they reach the age of 18. It’s not uncommon for a parent to hold high-value assets in a trust until their children are of appropriate age. Some may hold funds for even longer until a particular milestone or life achievement has been met.

If the trust states that the assets be distributed outright, the trustee must communicate with beneficiaries and prepare the proper transfer documents. This isn’t always an easy process.

Once the assets are transferred, the trustee should ensure they have fully completed their duties and can no longer be held accountable for any mistakes during the administration.

A Houston trust administration attorney will help finish your job as a trustee and close up any loose ends so you can be done with your trust administration responsibilities.

We’re Here for Trustee Guidance in Houston Trust Administration

If you’ve been relied upon by the deceased to fill the role of trustee, we want to help you do it right. You shouldn’t feel as though it’s a significant risk or liability you are taking on by performing your trustee duties.

Stafford Law Firm is here to help with your Houston trust administration. We’ll even be here to help you connect professionally and productively with your beneficiaries. You may face unnecessary legal litigations without proper/positive communication with your beneficiaries.

Honor the last wishes of your loved one and carry out their estate plan in the way they wanted and within the confines of Texas law. Let’s work to make this trust process as easy and efficient as possible.

Are you ready to begin a trust administration? Reach out to Stafford Law Firm today for a free consultation.


Frequently Asked Questions

The minor child must reach the age of 18 to inherit any assets in a trust. An inheritance can be held beyond 18, however, as long as the terms are specified in the original trust documents.

If you’re interested in setting up your trust, there are a few things you need to do. First, you will have to assess and appraise your assets to choose an adequate type of trust for your estate planning. You will need to name a trustee, draft documents, and have them signed appropriately with witnesses and a notary present.

The state of Texas requires the trustee to have the capacity to handle any property being distributed in the trust. Some may appoint a trust company or attorney along with a co-trustee like a friend or a son to facilitate the respectful and legal administration of the trust.

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