Trust Administration is the process of either managing someone’s estate while they are incapacitated or wrapping up the estate and distributing the assets after death. The disability or after-death Trustee is designated by the Trustmaker and takes on the responsibilities designated by the Trust document. Some Administrators tackle this process independently; however, most engage an Estate Planning attorney to help with the logistics and to ensure they abide by all legal requirements. Certain formalities must be adhered to, such as notifying all potential heirs to make sure they have had the opportunity to claim part of the estate and that they are updated regarding the proceedings.
Administering a Trust is generally much faster and less expensive than distributing an estate which has gone through the court Probate process. Generally the process of Trust Administration is also a private matter, unlike the Probate process where your assets and distribution becomes public record. The ease of after-death distribution is most often the reason people choose Revocable Living Trusts rather than basic Wills for their Estate plan.