Who should I choose as trustee of my trust? Whenever you’re doing estate planning and need to select a trust successor trustee to your revocable trust, you usually appoint a family member. That family member should have some business experience and be one that you believe that would want to treat everyone fairly and to follow your wishes and what you designate under the provisions of the trust. If you are dealing with a lot of money, over a million dollars you may want to consider designating a trust company or a bank with trust powers for them to administer the trust and invest the money so that they can continue to pay the money out for it. If you have a, uh, a trust where you simply want to have your assets distributed to the various beneficiaries, while that’s relatively simple to do, and, uh, family members should be able to, uh, take care of that and if they have any questions, you could direct them to contact the attorney who prepared the trust or can contact my office and I would be glad to give them some information and or, uh, represent them. As far as administering the trust, the trustee would be required to, uh, obtain a federal identification number for tax purposes. Since the trust, when it becomes your revocable, uh, becomes a taxpayer and an information return is required called a fiduciary tax return. And so I can give you some guidance as far as the, uh, federal ID numbers concerned, filing the inventory, the notice of trust and the public records and gentlemen, they represent you as far as, administering the trust and taking care of, following the wishes of the person who established the trust. If you have any questions about trust administrations, give me a call at (727) 847-2288.
Can I use my parent’s power of attorney to transfer their trust assets? The short answer to that is no. The reason is, is the power of attorney is given to the now called agent that used to be called a attorney. In fact, in their individual capacity, if they’ve titled particularly real estate and their name is trustee, then you must have the trustee sign the deed or transfer it in the trustee’s name. And if they’re not able to sign, you then need to have, the trust amended so that the successor trustee is then able to sign the documents or deed to transfer the title. But you cannot use a power of attorney, which has been executed by your parents and their individual capacity to transfer their trust desk sets. If you have a problem as far as transferring trust assets and they have a power of attorney, will give me a call at (727) 847-2288. Thank you.
When do my responsibility start as a trustee? Well, the first time it starts is if someone sets up a trust or either you or someone else and you’re named as the trustee, well then, your responsibilities start away. However, you do need to accept the responsibility as a trustee. The usual scenario is, is that your parents or a loved one has set up a revocable trust for estate planning purposes. And they say who they want to receive their assets and then they name who they wish to serve as the successor trustee. And that instance, we would need a death certificate, for the person who set the trust up, which has served as a trustee. And then I would have you sign an acceptance of trustee and obtain a federal identification number for the trust so that you could then act in their capacity and distribute the assets or sell the assets of the trust, uh, for the beneficiaries and then distribute those. So your responsibilities start whenever you’re named, either as the trustee or successor trustee. And the circumstances have changed as whereby the original trustee can no longer serve, whether due to incapacity or death, and then you have the option of signing an acceptance. If you don’t wish to serve as trustee, you don’t have to undertake those responsibilities. If you have any questions about your serving as a trustee a under a trust will give me a call at (727) 847-2288.
Is there a minimum value required to establish a trust? No, there is not, but I think a better question is what’s the purpose of setting up a trust? I do a lot of estate planning and many times, I have clients come in to see me and the reason they want to set up a trust is to avoid probate. And so that is certainly a legitimate reason to set up a trust but there are other means of avoiding probate other than setting up a trust. Some of the other reasons why you may want to set up a trust is in the event there is a special needs beneficiary that you wish to provide for and you can put that in your trust or free standing trusts. There’s also trusts that are set up for life insurance so that they are controlled in an irrevocable life insurance trust.
There is also a Medicaid trust to qualify you for Medicaid. So the big reason to set up a trust is look at the purpose of it and then determine whether or not you need to set it up. But there is no minimum amount that you need to put in many trusts provided that if there’s less than a certain dollar amount, such as 50,000 or $100,000, the trustee may go ahead and do away with a continuing trust rather than going through the [inaudible 00:01:41] continuing to administer it. Also, you need to take in consideration the cost of setting up a trust, which may outweigh whatever amount that you put into it. So if you have any questions about setting up a trust, well, give me a call at (727) 847-2288.
What plans can I make for my pets in the event of my passing? Well, you can specifically provide in your will that you leave your pet to a family member or friend who you know who wants the pet, and will take good care of the pet.
I’ve also had any number of clients also designate their veterinarian to leave their pet to and asked that he find a good home for them.
There is a provision if you want to provide for your pet, is to set up a pet trust that would require you to designate two people in your will or in your pet trust.
One, to take care of the pet and two, a person who would monitor the care and how much money is given to the one who cares for the pet.
So if you would like to make out a will and provide for your pet or set up a pet trust, give me a call at (727) 847-2288.