Q:

Can I do the post-mortem trust administration without a lawyer?

A:

I’m frequently asked whether or not post-mortem trust administration can be done without a lawyer. Well, the simple answer is of course, yes, if the person doing it knows what to do. It’s a complicated process and while someone may want to use it to school themselves and learn how to do it efficiently, they would be well served hiring a qualified estate attorney who can guide them through that process so that no mistakes are made and the trust is administered expeditiously on behalf of the beneficiaries.

Note: The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 signed into law in December 2017 increased the exemption amounts mentioned in these videos. The personal estate, gift, and generation-skipping tax lifetime exemption was increased to $11.18 million per person. The annual gift tax exclusion was increased to $15,000 per donee per year.

Both amounts are indexed for inflation and may increase year over year until December 31, 2025, when the law sunsets and reverts to 2017 values