Estate Planning & Probate Lawyer in Cambridge MA

Dealing with legal issues that affect your family can be very stressful, but the better you are prepared, the smoother the process with be. If you have any kind of estate – be it bank accounts, property, a car, investments, etc., make sure it is all properly organized in a will or a trust. If you have minor children, it would be wise to appoint legal guardians for them in the event of your passing or incapacitation. Otherwise, a judge would do that for you after your passing.

What does it mean to administer a trust?

Administering a trust is the task that is put on a trustee, after the trust maker dies. This entails the trustee being responsible for managing the trust assets and distributing them among the beneficiaries according to the instructions in said trust.

The most common type of trust used in estate planning is called a revocable living trust, where a trustee assumes control over the affairs after the trust grantor has passed away.

Administration of a trust typically involves the following steps:

  1. Sending a notice of the trust grantor death to all listed beneficiaries and heirs
  2. Transferring certain property titles to the new successor trustee from the deceased person
  3. Transferring bank accounts in the trustee's name
  4. Handling federal tax affairs and making sure any income earned by trust assets is reported to the IRS
  5. Filing a tax return
  6. Paying debts left by the deceased
  7. Distributing trust assets among the beneficiaries as specified in the trust
  8. Keeping records of all trust activity, including deposits and distributions to beneficiaries

The trustee can legally handle all of the proceedings themselves, but they are also allowed to hire an attorney to advise them and assist with the administration of the trust. Certain assets like investment accounts, retirement accounts, and life insurance proceeds, do not need to go through the probate process. They are handled and distributed in accordance with their pre-determined beneficiary designations.

Consult an Estate Lawyer:

My practice is focused on helping individuals with the probate of estates and related litigation (such as will contests), estate and trust planning, and conservatorship and guardianship matters.

As a dedicated estate planning lawyer in Cambridge Massachusetts, I provide personal attention to all clients – when you retain me, you’ll be working with me directly on all aspects of your matter. I maintain a caseload that allows full attention to all clients, and to answer your questions at your convenience. Call Us! 781-380-8183.