ATTORNEY

MICHAEL CORNETT

(501) 580-9804

In Little Rock and throughout Arkansas.

POST-MORTEM TRUST ADMINISTRATION

Providing Outstanding Post-Mortem Administration Services in Arkansas.

If you hire me after your family has experienced a death, and I learn that the decedent had a funded Revocable Trust, I will serve as the family’s guide through the maze that is the Arkansas Trust Code. This post-mortem trust administration process is a bit less onerous than the Arkansas Probate administration process, but there is still work that should be done in order for the trustee to perform and complete his or her fiduciary responsibilities and protect everyone’s due process rights.

Working Together – Our Process

First, I will review the trust document, and any amendments, to determine the validity of the trust (if I did not initially prepare it) and so that I can interpret it to the family, especially the provisions about who is supposed to get the various assets in the trust.

Next, I will work with the successor trustee to ensure that the trust was fully funded, and if it was not, I will advise the family of the need to go through the probate process in order to get those assets into the trust or to those individuals who are entitled to receive them under the decedent’s Last Will & Testament or under the Arkansas laws of intestacy.

I will then explain fiduciary duties and the required Trustee’s Report, which is an informal accounting of the trust administration period, so that all beneficiaries can see what expenses and taxes were involved during the post-mortem trust administration and how their share of the trust was calculated so that everyone understands what happened with the trust’s assets.

Next, I will explain what legal documents I will need to prepare for the trustee, including the paperwork showing the acceptance of the nominated successor trustee to handle the job and the drafting of a new Certificate of Trust. This Certificate contains highlights of the terms of a trust and serves as proof to financial institutions, title companies, etc., that the trust still exists, its legal name, the date of death of the person who set it up and the name and address of the new, successor trustee.

I will also obtain a new tax identification number for the trust so that the client can provide that to his or her CPA in order to file income tax returns and to be able to complete any paperwork from a financial institution, insurance company, etc., requesting the tax identification number.

I will also prepare the two sets of legal notices which the Arkansas Trust Code mandates for my client (who is the trustee), and I will explain who should receive these legal notices and their purpose.

At the conclusion of the post-mortem trust administration process, which will last a minimum of four months, I will prepare the necessary transfer documents, such as deeds, in order for the proper person or entity to receive their share of the trust’s remaining assets.

I will also discuss with the surviving spouse, the executor, or the successor trustee whether a federal estate-tax return (IRS form 706) or federal gift tax returns (IRS form 709) should be prepared and filed with the IRS, either because taxes are owed or to take advantage of a law commonly referred to as “the portability rule”. I will be available to prepare those tax returns for the family (or to recommend a CPA who might be willing to do this) as the family desires.

If you need Post-Mortem Administration help in Little Rock or anywhere else in Arkansas, contact The Cornett Law Firm. Call (501) 580-9804 or send us a message.

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In my thirty plus years of experience as an attorney, I have worked with hundreds of clients. To understand how I can help and what you can expect when working together, select an option below.

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(501) 580-9804

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