Category Archives: Trust Administration

IRAs, 401(k)s, Pensions, and Profit Sharing Plans

On its face, you would think that “Retirement Accounts” such as IRAs, 401(k)s, pensions, and profit sharing plans would be the easiest part of a loved one’s estate to administer. The beneficiary should just make a claim, a withdrawal, or roll over the account, right? Actually, a lot of thought should go into the choices […]

Life Insurance and Annuities

Life insurance and annuities are examples of assets that may fall outside of the estate and trust administration. This is due to the fact that these assets are generally distributed pursuant to a designation of beneficiary document. Life insurance is typically owned by the decedent, but may be owned by the decedent’s spouse, children, or […]

Continuing Trusts for Beneficiaries— Children, Grandchildren, and Others

While many trusts distribute assets outright to other beneficiaries such as children and grandchildren, others direct for a distribution into a continuing testamentary trust for the benefit of children, grandchildren, and other beneficiaries. Oftentimes, these distributions don’t occur until the surviving spouse is deceased and the marital trust distributes out to the children/grandchildren, but in […]

Continuing Trusts for Beneficiaries—Spouse

Once the creditors have been taken care of and tax returns filed, it’s time to move out of the administrative phase and start distributing assets.  When there is a surviving spouse, the trust will often continue for his or her benefit. These after death trusts are known as “testamentary trusts.” When there is a testamentary […]

Working with the CPA/Tax Return Preparer

When I take on a new estate-planning client, I have them complete a client organizer that, among other things, asks him or her to rate concerns from high to low. Estate taxes commonly rate high, even when the client’s assets are nowhere near the federal estate tax threshold. Why is that? Do people assume that […]

Bank Accounts

When opening a probate estate or trust administration, the personal representative/trustee needs to open an estate checking account or a trust checking account, respectively. This account will receive the income earned and pay all the expenses incurred during the administration. Running all of the income and expenses through one checking account will make it simpler […]

Working with a Financial Advisor

I mentioned earlier that the personal representative of a probate estate and the trustee of a trust have a duty to protect and preserve the assets during the estate administration, as well as following the “prudent investor rule.” So what does this really mean? Should the personal representative/trustee invest all of the money in the […]

Automobiles and Tangible Personal Property

In Florida, up to two motor vehicles that are held in the decedent’s name and are regularly used as the decedent’s (or his immediate family’s) vehicle are generally exempt from the claims of creditors and can therefore be re-titled to immediate family members outside of a probate process. A surviving spouse can, for example inherit […]

Florida Homestead Issues

What happens to the residence is one of the most anxiety-inducing questions that most surviving spouses endure. When there is no surviving spouse, the home is nevertheless one of the major assets of the estate, and may have a great deal of emotion wrapped up in it. To make matters even more interesting, Florida’s homestead […]