During Your Lifetime:
When you create a Trust, you are called both the Settlor or Grantor of the Trust and you are the Trustee of the Trust.
The Settlor/Grantor is the person or persons that established the Trust.
The Trustee is the person or persons responsible for the Trust Administration.
With a revocable Trust, during the course of your lifetime you are free to buy and sell property and add and remove items from your Trust.
You will pay your bills the way you did before you created your Trust and you will file tax returns the same way you always have.
Trust Administration of a Trust while the Settlor is alive is very easy and transparent, once the Trust is established and properly funded. For more about Trust Funding CLICK HERE.
After your passing:
If you are a single person with a Trust, your named Successor Trustee will take over administering your Trust after you die.
If you are a married couple with a Trust and your spouse passes away, typically the surviving spouse continues on as the surviving Trustee.
Someone else, other than the surviving spouse can be named as Successor Trustee, but in most instances, it is the surviving spouse.
If you are a married couple with a Trust and both spouses pass away, the named Successor Trustee will take over the administration of the Trust.
Regardless of the size of the Trust Estate, it is important for the surviving spouse and/or Successor Trustee to meet with both your attorney and CPA as soon as possible to find out the best legal course of action and to learn about the current tax rules as it relates to the use and allocation of your unified credit as there are time limits imposed by the IRS for certain decisions to be made after someone dies.
If the Trust is properly funded, the Successor Trustee’s job will be much easier in administering the terms of the Trust and following the wishes and directions of the Settlor/Grantor (persons that set up the Trust).
At Owens & Perkins we have been representing generations of families assisting them with transferring their wealth from one generation to the next.