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What Are the Duties of a Trustee After the Grantor Passes Away?

April 4, 2019

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

There are both practical and legal responsibilities linked to a trustee when the grantor passes away.

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These include:

  • Locating and reviewing all of the important papers of the deceased. These items should be found as soon as possible.
  • Change the locks and take any steps necessary to close out and protect the house.
  • Notify insurance carriers that the house will remain vacant.
  • Verify that property insurance and auto-insurance policies are active such that various trust assets are insured against liability or loss.
  • Get the certified copies of the death certificate from the village clerk, town clerk, or funeral director.
  • Make a list of all the household goods that are included in the house to be distributed to beneficiaries. Photographing personal property can make this process easier.
  • Create an exhaustive list of all of the assets and establish a baseline value for these assets.
  • Pay any outstanding debts, bills or taxes.
  • If the trust will generate more than $600 in total income from the date of the person passing away until all of the assets inside the trust are distributed, the trustee needs to obtain a tax identification number for the trust.
  • File any claims for IRAs, life insurance and other assets that require individual forms.
  • Create an accounting of all expenses paid and all assets at the date of the death.
  • Keep beneficiaries notified about the status of the case.

If you are curious about how to serve in this role as a trustee, schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney.     

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