Trust Administration Process in Minnesota
The trust administration process is similar to the probate process with one key difference. Trust administration is private and, unlike probate, who inherits the assets will not generally become public knowledge. Trust administration keeps the government out of the process by avoiding probate.
Aside from that key difference, the trust administration process follows a similar pattern as a Minnesota probate:
- The trust assets must be collected, preserved, and documented
- Beneficiaries must be notified of their interest in the trust assets
- Any expenses of last illness, creditor claims, and debts including taxes must be paid from the trust assets
- All of the trust assets must be managed according to the terms of the trust
- The trustee must distribute the assets according to the terms of the trust
Just like probate, a trustee in Minnesota has fiduciary duties to the beneficiaries of the trust and must not mismanage the assets or misappropriate funds for his or her own use. Like a personal representative in a probate, a trustee may be liable for any mismanagement or misappropriation of funds. Beneficiaries of a trust are entitled to contest the actions of a trustee if the trustee is not fulfilling his or her legal obligations.
Whether it is obtaining a tax identification number for your trust, filing a fiduciary income tax return, preparing an inventory and final accounting for the beneficiaries, having a qualified Minnesota trust administration attorney is the key to making sure you fulfill your obligations as trustee and avoid being sued by an unhappy beneficiary. Contact our office today if you would like a free initial consultation for trust administration in Minnesota.