Trusts are created when a person, referred to as the trustor or grantor, transfers his (or her) assets from his own name into a trust fund. A person can create a trust doing his lifetime. This type of trust is called a living trust. A trust can also be created through a will. Such a trust is referred to as a will trust or a testamentary trust. The person responsible for managing the trust assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries is called the trustee. For a variety of reasons disputes may rise related to the trust. If the dispute cannot be settled, trust litigation may occur with the dispute being settled by the court. If you are a trustee, beneficiary, or other interested party involved in a dispute related to a trust, it is important that you are represented by a skilled Chicago trust litigation lawyer who has the experience and resources to fight vigorously for your legal rights, and who will represent you interests in any trust or estate litigation related to the dispute.Role of the Trustee
The trustee is the person who is appointed by the trustor to manage the trust according to the terms of the trust agreement for the benefit of the named beneficiaries. The trustee acts as the legal owner of trust assets. He or she is responsible for distributing the assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries. In other words, a beneficiary cannot access assets of the trust without going through the trustee. The trustee must only use trust assets for the purposes outlined in the trust agreement. The trustee may have a broad range of responsibilities depending on the type of trust. The general responsibilities of all trustees include:
- Investing trust assets. The trustee may not personally manage investment of the trust assets, but has the authority to hire someone to do so.
- Administering to trust according to the terms of the trust document. What does entails will vary depending on the purpose of the trusts. Examples of types of trust include educational trusts, minor child trusts, spendthrift trusts, and special needs trusts.
- Making distributions. As a trust litigation attorney in Chicago will explain, depending on the terms of the trust, the trustee may be required to distribute trust assets to the beneficiaries. This may occur at regular intervals, one time, or as needed.
- Prepare in records and tax returns . The trustee is required to submit record keeping records and reports to the beneficiaries on the regular basis.
- Prepare tax returns. If required, the trustee is responsible for preparing and filing tax returns, and for paying any taxed owed.
Trust litigation is generally based on some sort of breach of fiduciary duty or a challenge to the authority of the trustee. Common reasons for trust litigation:
- Issues related to the trustee authority
- Breach of fiduciary duties
- Conflict of interests
- Amending the trust
- Questions related to investments of trust assets
- Questions related to distribution and use of trust assets
An experienced Chicago trust litigation attorney will help you resolve challenges and disagreements related to a trust. Many such issues are complicated. It would be prudent to involve someone with experience handling complex trust litigation issues.Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates
Trust disputes can be complicated. They also can be emotionally charged, involving complex family relationships. If you are a trustee, beneficiary, or other interested party concerned about a disagreement related to a trust, it is important that you are represented by a skilled trust litigation attorney serving clients in Chicago who has the knowledge and resources to ensure that your legal rights are protected. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience representing clients in matters relating to fiduciary responsibilities. Contact us at 855-454-5529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve individuals throughout Chicago.