Matthew S. Payne is a Chicago-based attorney with a 20-year record of success in civil litigation, real estate law and estate planning.

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Follow these steps to settle a trust as an appointed trustee

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2021 | Estate Planning

If you became appointed as a successor trustee in Illinois, it can feel overwhelming and confusing. Understandably, most people don’t have prior experience in this role. Because of that, it’s important to learn about your duties as a trustee. Here are some steps you’ll need to complete in this role.

Finding all important documents

When you’re settling a revocable trust, the first thing to do is to track down the decedent’s estate planning-related documents. These documents should give you clear instructions for the decedent’s plan to distribute their assets.

Valuing the assets

The next step is to find out the date-of-death values of a decedent’s assets. To do this, you’ll need to contact the decedent’s previously used financial institutions. You might also need to get certain valuables appraised.

Taking care of any expenses

Another matter to take care of involving trusts is paying off the decedent’s expenses. If the decedent has many expenses, you might have to sell certain assets to cover these costs.

Paying the decedent’s taxes

You’ll also likely need to take care of the decedent’s taxes. Chances are, this person will have death and income taxes that are due. In your role as an estate’s successor, you’ll need to both prepare and file final income and state taxes for a decedent.

Distributing assets to beneficiaries

As unfortunate as it is for beneficiaries, distributing assets to these individuals is often the final task for a trustee to take care of. Once all expenses get paid, you can begin paying beneficiaries. Paying these people before taking care of all expenses could mean you foot the bill for any unexpected costs.

Being a successor trustee is extremely important. Using these tips might help you succeed in this vital role.