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Trust Administration Attorneys in Green Bay, Wisconsin

Trusts are powerful estate planning tools that allow a person to appoint a reliable person who will help manage property placed into the trust for the benefit of your beneficiaries. In addition, a trust allows your estate and surviving loved ones to bypass the time-consuming and expensive probate process. Upon your death or sudden incapacity, the named trustee will be called upon to administer the trust in accordance with the instructions set forth in the trust document. 

If you need proper guidance when creating a living trust or you want to understand how your trust will be administered, consulting with an experienced Wisconsin estate planning attorney is crucial. At Lewis & Van Sickle, LLC, we're committed to offering knowledgeable and comprehensive legal guidance to clients in estate planning and trust administration matters. Our reliable team is available to discuss with you, enlighten you, and guide you through the trust administration process from start to finish. 

Lewis & Van Sickle, LLC proudly serves clients across Green Bay, Wisconsin, and the surrounding areas of Oconto, Marinette, Sturgeon Bay, Kewaunee, and Shawano

We are here to help with all of your trust needs.

An Overview of Trusts

A trust can be described as a fiduciary arrangement that allows a person (the grantor, trustor, or settlor) to authorize a dependable person (the trustee or successor trustee) who will help manage trust property for the benefit of the beneficiaries. Upon the death or sudden incapacitation of the trustor, the trustee will help administer the trust according to its provisions. 

Benefits of Having a Trust

Here are some of the benefits of having a trust: 

  1. It allows you to keep property and assets for minor children until a future date. 

  1. It helps your estate and loved ones bypass the costly and lengthy probate proceedings. 

  1. It allows you to choose a successor trustee. 

  1. It helps keep your affairs private without the publicity of probate court. 

  1. It affords you control over what happens to your property when you're unavailable. 

  1. It provides adequate protection for your assets in the event of mental incapacity. 

An experienced attorney can enlighten you about how to create a valid trust and fully explain the trust administration process. 

What Is Trust Administration?

Trust administration involves the various tasks associated with managing the trust and distributing trust property to rightful beneficiaries as set forth in the trust document. The named trustee or successor trustee will handle trust administration upon the death or sudden incapacitation of the trustor. 

The Process & the Role of the Trustee

A trustee can be described as a person or entity selected by the trustor to manage and administer trust property or assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries. Once the court appoints the trustee, here are some of their expected duties: 

  • Identify beneficiaries of the trust assets. 

  • Gather and evaluate trust property. 

  • Administer the trust in accordance with the instructions of the trust document. 

  • Pay all administrative fees and costs incurred during trust administration. 

  • Settle debts and pay taxes before transferring assets to beneficiaries. 

  • Handle all financial matters and keep accurate and well-detailed records of all activities. 

  • Prepare and file final tax returns, and resolve other tax-related issues. 

  • Set aside a reserve fund to cover estate or trust-related expenses. 

A seasoned Wisconsin trust administration attorney can walk you through the legal procedures involved in administering a trust and explain some possible issues to expect. 

Common Trust Administration Issues

Here are some common issues that often occur when administering a trust: 

  • failure of the trustor to transfer assets into the trust 

  • failure of the trustee to prepare and file the final income tax returns 

  • deceased or incapacitated beneficiary 

  • allegations of mismanaging trust fund 

  • ambiguous instructions about the distribution of trust property to beneficiaries 

  • contesting the validity of the trust documents 

  • disagreement about the role and authority of the secondary trustee 

  • the instructions set forth in the trust documents may be unclear

Generally, it requires thoughtful consideration and understanding to settle trust administration issues. An experienced attorney can get to the bottom of the issue and help facilitate a peaceful, productive, and swift resolution. 

Work With an Experienced Trust Attorney

Trust administration in Wisconsin often involves several complicated procedures. If you have been appointed as a trustee to a loved one's trust, it is crucial that you clearly understand your expected roles and legal and financial responsibilities. Therefore, consulting with a practiced estate planning attorney is imperative for dedicated guidance and to help you navigate key decisions. 

At Lewis & Van Sickle, LLC, we have the knowledge and experience to advise and guide clients through the complex processes of administering trusts. We can carefully review the terms of the trust document and craft a well-detailed plan to guide you through the trust administration process. In addition, we will work diligently with the trustee to administer the trust efficiently and effectively.

Trust Administration Attorneys in Green Bay, Wisconsin

If you need assistance drafting a trust or understanding the trust administration process, contact Lewis & Van Sickle, LLC today to schedule an initial consultation. Our reliable legal team offers personalized legal counsel and the trusted advice that you need. We're proud to serve clients in Green Bay, Oconto, Marinette, Sturgeon Bay, Kewaunee, Shawano and throughout Northeast Wisconsin.