About Trust Settlement
Trust settlement involves executing the established provisions of the trust plan at the death or disability of the trustmaker. Trustees, under the guidance of an attorney, begin carrying out the trust terms as established in the trust document. A variety of legal and administrative tasks must be performed to wind down the decedant's estate (or address incapacity). In the post-mortem process, an estate inventory determines the current assets and how they are titled. Debts are paid and claims are made on life insurance, annuities, retirement assets, and the like. Taxes are filed and distributions to beneficiaries or trusts are made according to the terms of the trust. If the trust does not control the asset at time of death, a probate process may be necessary to transfer the asset to the trust for settlement. Depending how complex the estate is and how well it is organized prior to death, a settlement process may take only a few months or may require a year or more to resolve. Coordinating the client's assets with an updated trust prior to death greatly reduces time and cost when settling the trust. The clients' loved ones appreciate the work done during lifetime to ensure the plan is up-to-date and well organized, resulting in a timely and smooth settlement process.
The Challenge of
A major challenge settlement poses is having an efficient way to facilitate and track the tasks of trust settlement and educate the trustees on their roles. Most trustees are not experienced professionals and need training and guidance to perform their responsibilities. They can feel overwhelmed by the process and ill-equipped to conduct their duties. It is a challenge to provide a clear process for them to follow and training tools to help the administration proceed smoothly. Having a system that coordinates trust settlement effectively is essential, but elusive to develop on your own. Remember that the goals of the trust are met when trust documents are up-to-date and the trust controls the estate assets at death. Making sure assets have been properly and completely transferred to the trust during lifetime is essential if the trust plan is to be effective and work as designed. Otherwise the settlement is far more complex and costly.
The Solution to
SettlementPro™ furnishes estate planners with an automated and efficient software application to coordinate the varied and complex trust settlement tasks. SettlementPro™ provides a proven system to conduct and track settlement activities. SettlementPro™ also supplies educational resources to train trustees on their roles. It automates the major stages of trust settlement and can be customized to state requirements. SettlementPro™ also completely integrates with FundingPro™ to share data from the trust funding and maintenance phase, eliminating extra work. When paired with FundingPro™ , SettlementPro™ provides the automation and tools planners need to operate a relationship-driven firm. These software systems make offering advanced trust funding and maintenance services efficient and profitable.