Administering a Living Trust

Wrapping up a simple, probate-avoidance living trust may take a few months--or longer.

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The most common kind of trust in America today is the revocable living trust: a trust set up by someone who wants to save family members the hassle, delay, and expense of probate after his or her death. In essence, it's a will substitute, and the successor trustee's job is similar to that of the executor of a will.

Simple living trusts are designed solely to avoid probate; they don't affect taxes or long-term property management or anything else. Basically, if you take over as trustee when the person who made the trust (the settlor) dies, your job is to promptly distribute trust property to the people who inherit it. It should take no more than a few months. Here are some of the nuts and bolts of what you'll be doing.

Learn more about serving as a trustee.

Serving as Executor? Nolo Can Help.

Find a local lawyer for advice or handle the estate yourself with nolo's award winning do-it-yourself legal books.

The Executor's Guide

The Executor's Guide

Settle an estate or trust with this all-in-one guide for executors. The Executor's Guide will help you make progress one step at a time through the unfamiliar land of legal procedures and terminology.

The Trustee's Legal Companion

The Trustee's Legal Companion

Learn the ins and outs of being a trustee with this guide for every trust administrator. The Trustee’s Legal Companion shows you exactly how to proceed within the terms of the trust and your state's law.

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