What are trust administration services and how do they benefit you?


When you are enjoying life, you tend to forget that everything will eventually come to an end and there’s no way around it.

It may sound morbid, but in all practicality you should be prepared for that time. If you have estates and other properties that will need to be managed “when the time comes”, now is precisely the right time to hire a trust administrator.

Trust Administration Services includes supervising assets held by a trust which signifies legal ownership of property. It can be created in favor of an individual, employee, family member, or charitable institutions and causes.

There are various aspects of property ownership. They involve the right to use, the right of possession, the right to transfer, the right to sell, and the right to bequeath the property to chosen heirs.

Creation Of Trust

Once a trust is set up, property ownership is bestowed on the trust. The beneficiary of the trust is subsequently vested with limited rights as per the terms laid out by the trust.

The beneficiary may be granted the right to use articles within the trust but not to transfer or sell them, or may have restricted usage rights and limitations on what may be done with the properties held by the trust.

There are different types of trusts and some of them are detailed below:

  • Asset Protection Trust – this is a trust specifically created as a protection for your asset against future creditors, potential lawsuits, and any kind of judgments against your properties.
  • Revocable Trusts – this trust is one where the provisions can be canceled, changed, or altered during the lifetime of the grantor.
  • Irrevocable Trust – this is the complete opposite of the revocable trust whereby any provisions cannot be canceled, changed, or altered.
  • Charitable Trust – as the name suggests, this kind of irrevocable trust is established to benefit a charitable organization or the general public.
  • Constructive Trust – a trust imposed by a court for the benefit of an aggrieved party.
  • Special Needs Trust – sometimes known as supplemental needs trust, this is one that

allows a disabled person receiving government benefits to continue enjoying them by virtue of the said trust.

  • Spendthrift Trust – established for an individual who may be unable to manage their spending, this is a trust which does not allow them to dispose of their interest in that trust, either by selling or pledging it away.
  • Tax By-Pass Trust – this is a legal arrangement created for married individuals to leave money or assets to their better half to avoid estate tax on certain assets when one of them dies.
  • Totten Trust – is a type of trust whereby one party deposits money in a bank account with special instructions that, upon their death, the funds will be given to a particular beneficiary.

Administration Of Trust

Trusts are typically formed as a means of estate planning. The trust administrator then oversees the distribution of assets within the trust according to the wishes of the creator. This ensures the protection of those who otherwise cannot protect themselves, to receive benefits upon death, or to provide another way to benefit them.

Winding Up The Trust At The End Of Its Term

When there are still properties at the end of the term’s trust, the trust administrator will distribute whatever is left for the beneficiaries. This will be in accordance with the instructions the grantor has specified in documentation for the trust.

In case of the absence of the specific instructions from the grantor, the administrator, and the trust’s beneficiaries should decide to split the assets fairly among the heirs. Since conflicts are more likely to arise during the split, you might want to consider engaging the services of a lawyer. This is to avoid having to resort to court litigation due to irreconcilable disputes.

Seek Expert Advice About The Trust

The fiduciary should be able to provide you sound advice about the trust and assist you in navigating this crucial obligation in order to safeguard the legacy of the trustor.

How Do Trust Administrators Carry Out Their Duties?

Considering the above duties and responsibilities, the trust administrator is expected to:

  • Strictly follow the instructions by the creator as written in trust documents. Even the

trust administrator’s responsibilities are clearly outlined in the document used to create the trust, whether in a trust agreement or a will.

  • Carry out whatever action is necessary for the best interest of the trust itself and its legal beneficiaries. This includes maintaining records of the investments, reporting them regularly to beneficiaries, and making timely and prompt distributions to them.
  • Protect and safeguard the trust by investing and proper asset management. The fiduciary is expected to create investment strategies that balance the trust’s cash flow but could potentially yield revenue while minimizing risk as much as possible.
  • Pay taxes and all other necessary and lawful expenses in connection with the administration and management of the trust. These may include paying the trust’s bills, maintenance of insurance for the trust’s properties, and the like.
  • Communicate with professionals which include lawyers, CPAs, insurance agents, etc. to ensure proper management of the trust.

How To Choose The Right Trustees

Choosing the right trustee will be crucial to your beneficiary’s future when your time comes. Of course, you don’t want everything you worked hard for all your life to go to waste, do you?

In this regard, who is the right person for the job? Would you choose a family member or a relative, an accountant, a lawyer, a bank, or a trust company? It is not entirely about who you will find more trustworthy or who is better equipped to deliver the goods, although these are crucial considerations as well.

So how exactly do you ensure that you end up choosing the right trust administrator? Please consider the following:

  • First and foremost, you need to consider the kind of trust you will be having.
  • Choose carefully as a lot will depend on your choice. Do thorough research.
  • Appoint at least two persons who are not connected with each other for the purpose of keeping checks and balances.
  • The safest choice will always be a trust company or a bank by virtue of them being more equipped in terms of protection and safety nets.

Parting Words

The assurance that your estate will be taken care of on your behalf for the benefit of heirs or beneficiaries is of foremost concern. Choosing the trustee should put your mind at ease, knowing that they will do their job reliably.

If and when you end up feeling dissatisfied with your choice, it means that something needs to be rectified. Trustees are there to assist and not to compete over your properties. They are there to help you in every possible and lawful way. At the end of the day, it’s your peace of mind and those you love that matters the most.