The probate and estate administration process is one that requires a great deal of attention to detail. These tasks can be difficult for an executor, but the probate trustee has the specific duty of ensuring that the process runs smoothly. They have certain critical responsibilities.
Who is a trustee?
A probate trustee is a person who is appointed by the trustor or court to handle the estate of someone else after they become incapacitated or deceased. The appointment typically occurs when there are no other people available, which happens after someone has died without leaving instructions in a will regarding their assets and property.
What does a trustee do?
Firstly, the trustee is responsible for gathering all of the trustor’s assets and ensuring that they are well-protected throughout the probate and estate administration process. This means taking steps to make sure that creditors cannot seize any property or money, including making arrangements with banks to deposit funds into a separate account where possible.
A trustee’s second duty is to notify all heirs who are entitled to inherit under the decedent’s will or by intestacy if there was no will. They must also notify any creditors.
Additionally, a trustee must distribute funds according to the provisions outlined in either a will or state law if there is no will. Remember that if the deceased died without a will or trust agreement, then probate trustees may have to go through court proceedings before being able to disperse any remaining funds to beneficiaries.
Trustees have an important duty in the probate and estate administration process. Without their assistance, the entire administration process can be chaotic and potentially harmful to the beneficiaries and any assets that were not properly protected.