Why Identifying Trust Assets Is a Vital Step
During the administration of a trust, the trustee has many responsibilities. One such responsibility that arises early in the process is to identify all of the trust assets. This task is not as simple as it first appears. This is because there are many types of assets that can often go unnoticed unless the trustee had an intimate working knowledge of all of the decedent’s assets. It is crucial, however, that the trustee do the best he can at locating each asset.
Three Reasons a Trustee Should Make Sure All Trust Assets Are Identified
Why is identifying the trust assets so important for a trustee? One of the biggest reasons pertains the trustee’s potential liability if assets are not properly identified. The following is an overview of this issue:
- A trustee can be held liable if trust assets are lost.
- A trustee can be held liable if trust assets are stolen.
- A trustee can be held liable if trust assets are destroyed.
It is important to note, however, that a trustee does not owe the beneficiaries an absolute guarantee that all of the trust assets will be collected. Instead, the trustee is obligated to exercise reasonable care and diligence in order to avoid potential legal liability if assets are overlooked. There are several places where a trustee can look to learn more about a decedent’s asset holdings. In addition, trustees can consider hiring private asset search firms to assist them. When these steps are carried out, the trustee is able to minimize the risk of any personal liability pertaining to the identification of trust assets.
Knowing where to look is the best way to ensure that all of a trust’s assets are identified. That is where we come in. We have helped countless clients successfully fulfill all of their obligations during a trust administration, and we can help you too. We encourage you to reach out today for guidance. Get in contact with us by filling out a brief contact form. It would be our pleasure to further assist you.