The following is a brief outline of a process we have developed to help families save time, money and taxes with the trust administration process.
GATHERING THE ESTATE
The first meeting will focus on gathering all of the pertinent information about the decedent, the estate documents, and financial data. We will discuss the preliminary information available, its relevancy and explain the process ahead.
Before going further, we will review your existing estate documents, including both the financial and property information. The number and nature of these estate documents and any other related legal documents determine the complexity of the estate’s administration.
Next we will meet with the successor trustee and/or other family members to discuss the legal documents and asset structure of the estate. Following detailed overview of the estate administration process, and in-depth conversation, we will come to understand the family’s dynamics, needs and desires. Based on what we learn, recommendations– including all fees, deadlines, and responsibilities will be presented. We will outline the tasks that lie ahead so that family members understand each step and the approximate time line. Dennis Sullivan and Associates will transform complex financial and emotional considerations into a workable and understandable plan.
UNDERSTANDING THE PROGRESSION
Upon engagement, the Trustee will become our client and signs the initial administration documents. We will provide the Trustee with a Trustee’s Estate Administration Binder. This binder contains a tabs detailing the engagement agreement agendas for each of the upcoming meetings and copies of all relevant correspondence and other related documents.
CREATING TRUSTEE’S AUTHORITY
Prepare and explain the necessary documents the Trustee needs to acquire the legal authority to act on behalf of the estate. After signing these documents and with this authority, the Trustee is empowered to send the required notices to beneficiaries, family members, financial institutions, and appropriate governmental agencies. A tax and accounting professional maybe engaged for the process of gathering, charting, and determining the character and value of each asset, as well as determining the applicable income and estate tax issue.
ANALYZING AND TESTING
The Estate Administration Attorney meets with the accountant and financial advisor to create a plan for the allocation, distribution, or division of the assets. The plan must balance the dictates of the estate’s documentation, the Trustee’s fiduciary objectives, and tax advantages, and the family’s desires.
PRESENTING THE PRELIMINARY PLAN
We will take the Trustee step-by-step through the preliminary planning design and record every reaction, critique, and idea in order to further tailor the plan. The collaborative team of advisors explains the tax and practical ramifications of the different options.
BUILDING THE PLAN
The Preliminary Plan is then enhanced by the Trustee’s input. Through the use of narratives, graphs, charts, models, and schedules, our team guides every aspect of the Estate Administration Plan into a final, easy-to-understand form.
We will review and confirm all aspects of the plan with the Trustee who signs documentation in order to begin the implementation process. We will assign every detail of the plan to the appropriate advisors for immediate action. Each advisor provides the Trustee with detailed plan and implementation schedule. Use the Administration Account Report to track your progress.
We will provide the Trustee with details showing that the process of administering the estate has been successfully completed. Possible estate planning needs of the beneficiaries are reviewed. All outstanding questions are answered.
For more information on this unique process please call our office at (781)-237-2815.