Trust Administration Attorney in Grand Junction
Do You Need Help In Trust Administration?
Whether you are a newly appointed Trustee with many questions about Trust Administration or an experienced Trustee with a specific concern, the advice of an experienced Trust Administration Attorney is a wise investment. After all, it is far less expensive to avoid a problem than defend one later on down the road. A review of the Trust with a Trust Administration Attorney will give you the knowledge and confidence to exercise your powers as Trustee in an ethical manner consistent with the intent of the Grantor.
Duties of a Trustee
Because a Trustee is deemed a Fiduciary under the laws of Colorado, he or she must exercise a high standard of care in managing and preserving Trust assets. At all times while managing the Trust, the Trustee should bear in mind the three basic ethical and legal duties of a Trustee:
- The duty of impartiality (avoid favoring the interest of one party over another);
- The duty of undivided loyalty (avoid putting your own interests in conflict with those of the Trust); and
- The duty to administer the Trust with care and prudence.
Failure to do so may subject him to charges of breach of fiduciary duty.
More specifically, the Trustee is responsible for the following administrative duties:
- Registering the Trust and notifying the beneficiaries of their interest in the Trust
- Setting up an accounting system for the Trust assets and providing an accounting to the beneficiaries
- Obtaining a Tax Identification Number ("TIN") for the Trust and filing all necessary tax returns
- Managing the Trust assets
- Distributing the assets in accordance with the terms of the Trust
- Performing any other duties as specified in the Trust
- Defending the Trust against suits and claims in Trust litigation
While these are the typical duties of the Trustee, this list is not exhaustive. For instance, the Trustee may also be involved in the management of a business or property of an incapacitated individual.
Regarding the management of Trust assets, Colorado law recognizes the "Prudent Investor Rule" which provides that "the trustee shall observe the standards in dealing with the Trust assets that would be observed by a prudent man dealing with the property of another...." Unless the trust agreement restricts, eliminates, or otherwise alters by its provisions the meaning of the "Prudent Investor Rule," the rule must be adhered to at all times. For instance, a prudent investor would diversify Trust investments, balance the need for income with long-term principal growth, avoid risky investments, reevaluate Trust investments and seek professional advice on a regular basis.
Grand Junction Trust Administration Attorney
Since 1993, the Law Offices of James A. Littlepage, a Grand Junction Probate and Estate Planning firm, has been helping clients with Trust Administration. Mr. Littlepage has prepared over 2,000 estate plans and recently was was recognized with a 2015 and 2016 Five Star Estate Planning Attorney℠ award. In 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010 he received the Five Star Wealth Manager℠ award, as seen in 5280 and ColoradoBiz magazines. For assistance with Trust Administration, please contact our Grand Junction office.