Simeone & Raynor specializes in assisting existing and new trustees in administering trusts established by an individual during their lifetime and under their Wills. In 2016, New Jersey adopted the Uniform Trust Code imposing new standards and requirements upon trustees. While the Code built mostly upon existing common law, the changes do provide existing trustees with new challenges and opportunities. Our attorneys will advise both new and existing trustees of their obligations and duties to ensure that the trust management is easy and efficient. This knowledge allows trustees who seek our firm’s assistance to avoid the pitfalls and other mistakes which can embroil a trustee in litigation or reduce the effectiveness of the trust and its stated goals to provide for the trust beneficiaries. Some of the services our firm offers in this area, are as follows:
- Trust interpretation and reformation where necessary;
- Preparation and filing of trust federal and state income tax return, while maximizing trust distribution deductions to minimize taxes where applicable;
- Assistance in the sale, transfer and distribution of trust assets, including but not limited to business interests and residential and commercial property, in order to maximize trust value and minimize disputes among beneficiaries;
- Advising trustees about when and how to exercise their discretionary authority to make distributions from the trust;
- Ensuring compliance with the Principal and Income Act governing the type and manner of trust investments;
- Assisting in the proper administration all trusts, including but not limited to special needs trust;
- Assessing and advising trustees as to potential conflicts between the lifetime beneficiary and remaindermen of a trust;
- Preparing trust accountings and minimizing liability to trustees for fluctuations in the value of trust assets due to market or other unforeseen factors; and
- Merger and termination of trusts.
- Defending trust litigation and pursuing business or contract litigation on behalf of the trust.
The foregoing is not all inclusive of the types of services and assistance our attorneys provide to our clients, however, it provides a brief overview of some of the ways in which qualified counsel can ensure that a trustee properly administers a trust to the protection of themselves and the advancement of the beneficiaries’ interests. Knowledge and guidance concerning all aspects of trust law, including the newly adopted Uniform Trust Code, can provide a trustee with an invaluable service that will permit them to perform their fiduciary duties properly and in compliance with all aspects of the law. Our attorneys strive to make the process simple, efficient and effective in achieving the goals of the grantor of the trust, while protecting and maximizing value to the beneficiaries.
For more information regarding the assistance our firm can provide to you as a trustee, please feel free to contact our office for a free consultation at (856) 663-6700.