The most common estate planning tool is a revocable living trust that transfers assets at death to designated beneficiaries. “Revocable” means that it can be changed or revoked. “Living” means that it was created while the settlor was still living.
A trust involves three parties: a trustor/settlor who creates and funds the trust, a trustee who holds title to property and manages the trust, and a beneficiary who is the beneficial owner of the trust assets. It is common for the settlor, trustee and beneficiary to all be the same person when the trust is first created.
When the trustee dies or becomes incapacitated, the successor trustee must perform fudiciary duties of trust administration. Most successor trustees are unprepared to take over the fiduciary duties because they lack the knowledge and experience to properly administer the trust. That’s when successor trustees hire an attorney to represent them in their capacity as successor trustee.
Checklist for Trust Administration: