Many estates may be subject to a court procedure known as probate unless steps have been taken to avoid it. Probate normally involves collecting a decedent’s assets, paying debts, settling claims, clearing title to property, and distributing the decedent’s property to his or her heirs. Probate can be costly and time-consuming but in many situations can be avoided with proper planning.
When a trust is established it is to be maintained in accordance with its governing instruments and law. When managing a trust, the trustee has specific duties that may include managing trust assets, keeping records and filing reports, and making distributions to beneficiaries. Failure to manage the trust in accordance with its governing instruments or law can result in serious consequences to the trustee.