The job of administering a trust is overwhelming for many people. In fact, many Canadians who are named as estate trustees have little or no experience in carrying out the required duties, yet trustees can be held liable for mistakes. Disputes over trust administration can also lead to costly litigation.
To protect their own interests and the assets of the estate, many trustees seek help from a lawyer with experience in complex accounting and other financial matters. A trust administration lawyer can help ensure that the trustee fulfills all required accounting obligations and makes timely and accurate reports to beneficiaries.
Properly administering a trust may also require dealing with tax advisors and accountants, as well as multiple government agencies.
If a dispute with a trust beneficiary arises, then the trustee should have a lawyer who is prepared to litigate if necessary. In any case, the goal should be to reach a cost-effective solution, either in or out of court. Out-of-court solutions may include negotiation, mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution.
It is also important to cover your legal bases if you are a trust beneficiary who has doubts about the way the trust is being administered. A trust can be an excellent way of protecting and carefully distributing assets, but such a plan can fall apart if the trustee isn’t fulfilling his or her duties.
To learn more about trust administration and other matters related to estate planning, please explore Hagel Lawfirm‘s estate planning website. Lawyer Dorothy Hagel represents clients with a wide variety of financial and estate litigation concerns.