Angela C. Artherton

Caring and Client-Focused Advocacy

How is trust administration different from estate administration?

On Behalf of | Jan 26, 2024 | Trust Administration

In managing the affairs of a dead loved one, it is important to navigate the intricate world of estate and trust administration. These terms are often used interchangeably.

However, they are two distinct processes that play huge roles in settling an individual’s financial matters after they pass away.

Learning about trust administration

Trust administration revolves around the management of assets held in a trust. A trust is a legal entity created to hold and give away assets according to the wishes of the individual who established it, known as the grantor. Unlike a will, which becomes a public record during probate, a trust’s contents remain confidential.

When a grantor starts a trust, they appoint a trustee, who is responsible for managing the trust. The trustee’s duties include taking care of assets and ensuring that people follow the trust’s terms. Importantly, trust administration typically avoids the probate process, resulting in a faster distribution of assets to beneficiaries.

Knowing more about estate administration

Estate administration primarily deals with the settling of an individual’s affairs through the probate process, including a previously chosen executor who will fulfill the individual’s wishes at this time. Probate is the court-supervised process of paying debts and distributing assets. Estate administration is a public process, with court documents accessible to the public, making it more time-consuming and costly than trust administration.

Whether one picks trust administration or probate, each approach serves a unique purpose. Clarifying these distinctions empowers individuals to make informed decisions, contributing to a smoother transition during challenging times.