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How Long Can a Trust Remain Open After Death of the Person Who Made It

how long can a trust remain open after death

Beneficiaries and trustees typically like to know how long can a trust remain open after the death of the person who set it up. The answer is, it depends on the particular trust. The trust document determines how long a trust can remain open after death. So to find the answer to this question, we would need to read the trust.

If you are a beneficiary and you don’t have a copy of the trust, you can ask the trustee or someone else who has a copy to provide you with one. If they refuse to provide a copy, we can compel them through the court to give a copy to you.

If you are a trustee and you are not sure how long the trust can remain open, you need to consult with your attorney. They will read the trust and interpret it for you.

If you are looking for an attorney who is experienced with situations that involve how long a trust can remain open after death, you can send us an email at attorneyalbertgoodwin@gmail.com.

A trust can remain open up to 21 years after the death of the last person who was alive at the time the trust was made.

A lot of trusts end at the death of the person who made the trust.

Some trusts are made for a lifetime of a person who was related to the person who made the trust and then terminate and get distributed to the people who are left.

What to do if the trust is unclear

If the trust is unclear or ambiguous to you, you need an experienced estate attorney to review the trust and let you know how long that particular trust can remain open after death. It may be your lack of legal experience that causes you to not understand how long that trust can remain open, and it also may be the case that the trust is actually unclear and ambiguous.

Beneficiaries’ attorney and the trustee’s attorney may need to agree on how to proceed with the trust.

If you are a beneficiary, your attorney might take the next step and file a proceeding in court to compel the distribution of the trust’s money and property to the beneficiaries.

If you are a trustee, your attorney may make an application to the court for advice and direction on the meaning of the trust as far as how long it can remain open after death.

Once again, if you are looking for an attorney who is experienced with situations that involve how long a trust can remain open after death, you can send us an email at attorneyalbertgoodwin@gmail.com.

Distribution of trust funds after death is an important issue for the beneficiaries and the trustee. Trust funds that were properly transferred to a revocable living trust or irrevocable living trust are not subject to probate. So the funds get distributed after death in accordance with the terms of the trust.

What beneficiaries should know about how long can a trust remain open after death

After the death of the person who made the trust, the trustee follows instructions set forth in the trust which tells the trustee how to manage, handle and distribute the trust assets to the beneficiaries. The trust may or may not say how long does a trustee hold funds. The trustee may have to make an accounting of the decedent’s assets before he distributes assets. If there are any assets that are discovered that have not been transferred to the trust, the trustee must advise the executor or personal representative of the estate to initiate a probate proceeding to transfer assets that are not included in the trust.

Frequently, a spouse may be the trustee and also the executor of an estate. Assets that the trustees may have to distribute may include:

  • Real property
  • Cash
  • Stocks, bonds and investment accounts
  • Jewelry and collectibles
  • Automobiles
  • Other items of value

The trust assets are passed to the heirs of the decedent in accordance with the terms and conditions of the trust and not the decedent’s will. On the other hand, any assets that are not properly passed to the trust and that are held in the sole name of the decedent will be subject to probate.

With a living revocable trust, the trust owns the assets, but the donor can revoke or change the trust and has control over managing and spending the assets during the donor’s lifetime. With an irrevocable trust, the trust owns the assets and the donor cannot use the assets for the donor’s benefit or transfer assets from the trust to the donor’s personal accounts. The type of trust and the language of the trust may indicate how long can a trust remain open after death.

What a trustee should do after the death of a person who established the trust

Being appointed as a trustee means that you have to take on a substantial fiduciary duty. This includes distributing assets but also includes acting responsibly in other respects. Failure to act responsibly and in accordance with the law could mean that you could be individually liable for mistakes you made. Before the distribution of trust funds upon the death of the person who made the trust, you should consult with an estate attorney. You can send us an email at attorneyalbertgoodwin@gmail.com.

One of the first things you should do after the death of the person who made the trust is to find the trust paperwork if you haven’t gotten it already. Once you have this, you will have an idea of who the beneficiary or beneficiaries are and which property is going to be included in the trust. It is essential to find these things out as soon as you can, as the beneficiaries would like to know how long can a trust remain open after death.

Once you have the trust document, you should notify all the beneficiaries of the trust (unless the trust states otherwise). After the death of the person who made the trust, if the trust allows, you should always keep in contact with the beneficiaries and give them periodic updates as to what is happening with the trust, along with giving accountings from time to time.

Once you have notified the beneficiaries, you will want to get a tax ID number and a death certificate. These things, along with the trust instrument are necessary to do various steps later.

Once you have gathered up the paperwork necessary to do your duty as trustee, you will want to gather up trust property and figure out what the value was as it was on the day the grantor died. For accounts that contain liquid assets, such as bank accounts, you may want to join all the accounts into one for simplicity’s sake. If personal property and real property are going to be used to fund the trust, you will want to secure all of that property and make sure that it is safe from harm or theft. Remember that you have a duty to pay all bills related to trust property and to ensure property such as jewelry, cars, or houses so that the trust doesn’t lose its value for some reason.

After all the trust assets are gathered up it is the duty of the trustee to distribute those assets and funds after death fairly according to the trust document’s terms. This could mean that the trustee has to liquidate some assets. The trustee would also be responsible for investing those assets in a cautious and diverse manner so that the trust maintains its value.

Being named trustee means that a fiduciary duty is created, meaning that it is in the trustee’s interests to hire a New York City estate attorney to be sure that all the duties are set forth by the trust and under New York law are met. A trustee must work on behalf of the beneficiary first, taking special care not to engage in self-dealing or in a way that represents a conflict of interest. Your attorney is the best one to give you guidance on the proper way to handle the trust.

Please have in mind that the actions described here are general. Many things depend on what is written in the trust document itself. For specific advice on the administration of the trust where you are a trustee, do not rely on the advice in this article but be advised by a trust attorney. If you are a trustee of a trust of a recently deceased individual and you are structuring the distribution of trust funds after the death of the person who made the trust, or you are a beneficiary of a trust, and you would like to know how long can a trust remain open after death, your best strategy would be to hire a New York estate attorney who is experienced in trust administration. At the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin, we are here for you. You can call us at 718-509-9774 or send us an email at attorneyalbertgoodwin@gmail.com.