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Curran Estate & Elder Law, PLLC
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Trust Administration Attorneys in Berks County, PA

Planning for the future can be stressful and time-consuming, but it’s something that everyone will need to do sooner or later. Unfortunately, many people falsely believe that you don't need to start estate planning until you’re older—but this can actually end up making the process even more complicated. By talking with an experienced estate planning attorney early on, you can get a plan in place now that can then change and adapt with you as you age and as your family grows.

While everyone’s estate plan will look a bit different, one of the most effective documents you can have is a trust. But what does this look like in practice and how can it best serve your needs? At Curran Estate & Elder Law, PLLC we can assist you with every step of forming a trust and explaining how it will be administered after your passing. If you’re in the Reading, Pennsylvania area or in Berks County and the neighboring counties of Schuylkill, Montgomery, Lancaster, Chester, and Lebanon, call us today to schedule an appointment.

Trusts in Pennsylvania

A trust is a legal estate planning document that allows you to transfer certain assets out of your name and put them under the name of an appointed trustee. As the trustor, you still have control over the trust and the assets within it, but the right to hold the title is now under the name of your trustee who will administer the trust after you pass (ie. distribute assets to your beneficiaries).

Trusts have a number of benefits compared with a traditional will. Like a trust, a will allows you to name beneficiaries who will receive your assets—but a will must also go through the lengthy legal process of probate. Probate is the process where your will is “proved” in court and this can take several months to a year to complete. Trusts avoid probate since you’ve already transferred ownership of your assets and a court does not need to intervene. This can save your administrator and beneficiaries time and money and generally leads to an easier transition.

Trusts also remain private after you pass, unlike wills. When a will goes through probate, its contents become available to the public so anyone who requests access will be able to see everything that’s in it, including details about your wealth and estate.

The Role of the Trustee

Perhaps one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make when forming a trust is who to name as your trustee. So what should you look for when picking a trustee and what will they be responsible for doing?

Your trustee has a big job, so you want to choose someone who’s organized and responsible, and someone who will carry out your wishes as laid out in the trust. This can be an individual you know and can depend on like a friend or family member, but you can also name an attorney or corporate trustee like a bank or trust company to fill the role. Your trustee will be responsible for identifying and notifying your beneficiaries, paying any administrative expenses (which is typically done using the assets in trust), notifying creditors and paying any outstanding debt, distributing assets according to trust provisions, preparing taxes and paying any back taxes, and creating a reserve fund for any unforeseen expenses.

Common Trust Administration Issues

With any legal document, the more time and effort you put into it on the front end, the fewer problems you’ll have down the road. Even so, there are potential issues that can come up during the trust administration. Here, the role of the trustee becomes even more important as they’ll have to address these concerns using their best judgment along with your previously-stated wishes.

Probably the most common issue occurs when a beneficiary suspects or accuses the trustee of mismanagement of the assets. Unfortunately, this can lead to family in-fighting about the estate. This could lead to a beneficiary demanding funds before the trustee is ready to distribute them, contesting the trust, or questioning the authority of the trustee altogether. Other problems may come up if there are provisions or terms within the trust that are outdated or void. Many trustees choose to hire a trust administration attorney to help them through this time and navigate these issues.

trust administration

Trust Administration Attorney in Berks County, PA  

No matter where you’re at in your estate planning, at Curran Estate & Elder Law, PLLC, we have experienced attorneys who are ready to help. We can assist you whether you’re starting from scratch and just want to discuss your options, already have a trust in place and need to make changes, or if you’re the named trustee and need legal support administering the trust. From our office in Berks County, we’re proud to serve those throughout Pennsylvania. Set up a meeting today.

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Client Success Stories

The staff at Curran did a great job taking care of my fathers needs. The staff were all very friendly and accommodating to his mobility issues and in general were quite good to work with. I would highly recommend Curran for all of your estate planning.
Gerry Foster
Gerry Foster
Rose and company were professional and very helpful with my estate planning. I feel secure for myself and my kids!
wmObe
wmObe
Knowledgeable and professional service and review of the various options that exist for our estate planning needs.
Kathleen Nevel
Kathleen Nevel
Curran Law was exceptionally helpful answering questions about next steps for my aging parents. They were extremely generous with their time.And, their knowledge of elder care was extensive.
Christy Strazzella
Christy Strazzella
Curran Estate prepared an Estate planning portfolio for my husband and I. The staff were very friendly and knowledgeable. They took the time to answer any questions and everything was done in a timely and professional manner.
Rhonda Gartland
Rhonda Gartland
Rose is the best. I continue to recommend Rose, and Curran to everyone. I truly do!!!
Cindy Kurtz
Cindy Kurtz
we were very pleased with all they did , and would have been lost without them. We would recommend them to anyone .
Fred Heckman
Fred Heckman
This law firm helped our family with a complicated situation of one parent in a nursing facility and the other parent living at home. Thank you so much for your help and compassion..
Maidmariondesign
Maidmariondesign
I can not say enough about how thankful my brother and I are for the help we have received from Susan, Lois and Sean for our elderly Aunt. When we first met with them, our Aunt was in the process of moving from an independent living situation into personal care. To our dismay, the care she received after this move was extremely inadequate and bordered on neglect. Susan spent hours helping us find and set up appointments with several other personal care facilities and we were able to move her within a week and a half. Once she was settled in, Lois worked with our Aunt to make sure her will and living will were up to date. Susan and Lois were so caring and patient with both our Aunt and ourselves, they made a very stressful situation much easier to handle. Sean has also been a huge help as we navigate selling our Aunt's property. We have been extremely satisfied with all aspects of guidance and services provided for the care of our Aunt.
Tammy Taylor
Tammy Taylor
Curran Estate & Elder Law, PLLC

1212 Liggett Ave.
Reading, PA 19611

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