Trust Administration

Preserving Your Wealth

A trust is an arrangement that allows a third party, known as a Trustee, to hold assets on your behalf or that of a designated beneficiary. Since they usually avoid probate, your heirs can access these assets more quickly than those transferred via a will. In the case of irrevocable trusts, any property they contain are not generally considered part of your taxable estate, so beneficiaries receive a larger inheritance.

Other benefits of trusts:

  • More solid control over your wealth
  • Preservation of assets from creditors and other claimants
  • Protection of assets for the benefit of nontraditional family relationships such as same-sex marriages and blended families

Common trust types include:

  • Revocable Living Trust: These trusts allow you to control assets in the trust during your life, and upon your death, the assets will be governed by the trust agreement. If you change your mind and no longer want the trust to be in effect, all the assets can be transferred out and the trust terminated with relative ease.
  • Special Needs Trust: A Special Needs Trust, also known as a Supplemental Needs Trust, is a valuable tool in managing the financial needs of a disabled person while maintaining eligibility for programs such as Medicaid and SSI/SSDI.

Other types are irrevocable life insurance trusts, charitable lead trusts, charitable remainder trusts, credit shelter trusts, and qualified terminable interest property trusts. They have very specific purposes and one or more can be part of a well-drafted estate plan.

Scriber Law Group, LLC can establish any type of trust that meets your estate planning needs and, if needed, serve as trust administrators when you pass away.

Trust Management

Unlike the probate process, Georgia courts aren’t typically involved in trust administration proceedings. When we serve as your Administrators, we ensure that your wishes are respected and your assets and property are handled the way you intended.

During this process, we will:

  • Identify and manage trust assets
  • File all necessary tax paperwork
  • Notify heirs and beneficiaries
  • Officially transfer trust assets to your intended beneficiaries
  • Represent the trust in litigation if necessary
  • Prepare and distribute trust accountings

Our extensive knowledge of Georgia estate law, combined with years of experience as trust administrators, enables us to assist and support your estate planning goals.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Scriber Law Group, LLC can represent a fiduciary or someone challenging a fiduciary in a lawsuit alleging breach of fiduciary duty. We can bring actions on behalf of heirs and beneficiaries and can defend Executors, Administrators, Trustees, and trust administrators accused of breaching their fiduciary duty. Our firm represents both local and out-of-state clients in probate litigation throughout Georgia.

Typically, a fiduciary is someone trusted to take care of money or other assets for another person. In the context of a trust, the Trustee or trust administrator acts as a fiduciary for the beneficiary. When they violate their obligations to the other person, they have breached their fiduciary duty. Examples include:

  • Self-dealing: using their position as a fiduciary to benefit their own interests to the detriment of the beneficiaries, such as selling trust assets to a family member for less than market value
  • Dishonest accounting: intentionally giving the beneficiary inaccurate information about the contents or value of the trust. This could be done to cover up for other types of breaches
  • Theft: misappropriating property from the trust
  • Conversion: committing theft by indirect means, such as undervaluing assets and keeping the difference
  • Fraud: using deception, misrepresentation or acceptance of bribes to undermine the trust
  • Incompetence or dereliction: failing to distribute the trust assets within a reasonable time as a result of neglect or errors
  • Conflict of interest: failing to disclose a personal interest in the trust or relationship with a beneficiary or heir
  • Excessive fees: taking unreasonably high compensation for his or her time and efforts. The reasonableness is determined both by context and by the express language of the trust
  • Breach of the Prudent Investor Rule: taking unreasonable risks when investing property held by the trust, allowing its value to significantly decline

If you feel that a trust administrator is abusing their position for their own personal gain, or if you have been wrongly accused of a breach of a fiduciary duty, contact Scriber Law Group, LLC today.

Beneficiary and Heir Rights

Once a person becomes entitled to a share of trust or estate, it is the duty of the fiduciary to notify them of what they are entitled to and then deliver it according to the applicable rules. Heirs and beneficiaries have the right to be advised of the contents of the estate and to receive their allotted share in a timely manner. If you have an interest in a Georgia trust or estate and believe that an Administrator, Executor, or Trustee has not performed their duty and/or failed to notify you of what you are entitled to receive, we can assist you by:

  • Demanding information relating to the trust or estate and then verifying its accuracy, a process known as “an accounting”
  • Getting your share of the trust or estate transferred to you
  • Petitioning the court and having the Administrator, Executor, or Trustee removed from their role if they have breached their fiduciary duty

Scriber Law Group, LLC can also help you contest a will and initiate trust and estate litigation, as well as represent you if you are an Administrator, Executor, or Trustee facing complaints from a beneficiary or heir.

For assistance in all trust administration matters and concerns, call us today at 404-850-9334 or contact us here. We will be glad to meet with you, discuss the laws as they pertain to trust administration in Georgia, and advise you on the best way to handle your particular situation.

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