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Denver trust administration Attorney

At Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd., our Denver estate planning lawyers know that trust administration is an important responsibility bestowed upon trustees. These trustees, which may also be referred to as fiduciaries, can be anyone, such as a relative or legal professional, who has been named by the trust as the person responsible for managing the trust.

Colorado Estate Matters can help you avoid potentially disastrous pitfalls and costly mistakes so that you are able to achieve your objectives. Contact us at (303) 713-9147 or reach us online.

What does a trustee do?

A trustee is an individual or organization that holds or manages assets for a third party, often for a trust. The responsibilities of a trustee can vary greatly depending on the specifics of the trust arrangement. Yet, in most cases, they are expected to manage the assets to benefit the trust’s beneficiaries according to the stipulations set by the grantor (the person who created the trust).

Legal assistance for trustees

Working with a trustee can sometimes be complex due to the various legal, financial, and ethical duties involved. This is where Denver estate attorneys play a pivotal role. They provide necessary legal advice and assistance to trustees, helping them navigate the complexities of trust administration.

Trustee responsibilities and trust administration

One of the primary responsibilities of a trustee is to maintain the trust’s assets responsibly. This may include investing assets, managing real estate, overseeing businesses, or selling assets as needed. The trustee must also keep accurate records, report to beneficiaries, and handle tax obligations related to the trust.

In Denver, a trust administration attorney is a specialist in managing and overseeing these procedures, ensuring that the trustee is acting in accordance with the law and the trust’s provisions. A Denver trust administration attorney not only provides legal counsel but also handles disputes that may arise between the trustee and the beneficiaries.

Trustees’ fiduciary duty and conflict resolution

Trustees also have a fiduciary duty, which means they must act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. This can sometimes lead to complicated situations, particularly when there are multiple beneficiaries or when the beneficiaries have conflicting interests.

In such cases, our Denver trust administration attorney can offer invaluable advice and guidance, helping to resolve disagreements and ensure the trustee is fulfilling their duties appropriately.

What’s at stake?

When managing or administering the trust, the trustee is essentially expected to ensure that the terms of a trust are appropriately and legally carried out. While this may sound simple, it can quickly become a complicated endeavor, and failing to properly administer the trust can result in some challenging and potentially costly complications.

Trust administration services we offer in Denver

Some of the specific aspects of our trust administration practice include (but are not limited to) assisting trustees in:

  • Upholding the terms of the trust
  • Fairly and impartially dealing with the beneficiaries of the trust
  • Maintaining clear and accurate records of the trust’s dealings and operations
  • Keeping the beneficiaries of the trust informed of the status and operations of the trust
  • Preserving the assets of the trust, including by only making prudent investments with these assets
  • Paying taxes on behalf of the trust
  • Avoiding conflicts of interest and any possible allegations of self-dealing
  • Keeping the assets of the trust separate and distinct from a trustee’s personal assets.

In addition to representing trustees, we also:

  • Serve as fiduciaries
  • Provide representation to beneficiaries of trusts who believe that a trustee or any fiduciary has breached their fiduciary duties in administering the trust.

What is the personal liability of a trustee?

A trustee must uphold certain legal and ethical standards in managing trust assets. Failure to meet these standards could result in the trustee being held personally liable for any losses incurred by the trust. This personal liability can extend to making good on financial losses out of the trustee’s pocket.

denver trust administration attorney

Prudent Investor Act

The Prudent Investor Act is one such legal standard that trustees must adhere to. This act requires a trustee to exercise the same level of care, skill, and caution as a prudent investor when making investment decisions. This means that the trustee must consider the needs of the trust’s beneficiaries, the provision of regular income, and the preservation and growth of capital when investing trust assets.

Under this act, a trustee cannot simply invest in safe or profitable assets. Instead, they must consider the entire portfolio of the trust and make investment decisions that fit into a broader, diversified strategy. Failure to adhere to these standards could see the trustee held personally liable for any losses that the trust incurs due to poor investment decisions.

Uniform Principal and Income Act

The Uniform Principal and Income Act (UPIA) is another key law that affects the responsibilities of a trustee. This law deals with allocating receipts and expenditures between principal and income, a distinction crucial for trusts with different principal and income beneficiaries.

Under the UPIA, a trustee must impartially balance the interests of income beneficiaries, who typically have rights to the income generated by the trust’s assets, and remainder beneficiaries, who have rights to the principal of the trust after the income interest has ended.

In managing the trust’s investments, the trustee must strive for an appropriate balance between income production and preserving the trust’s principal. If a trustee fails to strike this balance and favors one class of beneficiaries over another, they could be held personally liable for breaching their duty of impartiality.

What could be the compensation and expenses of a trustee in Colorado?

In Colorado, like in many other jurisdictions, a trustee is typically entitled to reasonable compensation for their services unless the trust document states otherwise. This compensation is meant to cover the time, effort, and expertise a trustee brings to manage the trust’s affairs.

Denver trust administration lawyers ready to help you and your family

If you need any assistance administering a trust, contact a Denver trust administration attorney at Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd. We provide a thoughtful approach to our client’s estate planning and elder law needs, and we are dedicated to helping each of our clients and their families find the best solutions for them.

While this means that we provide our clients with the personalized attention they deserve, it also means that our clients can rely on us to always provide them with competent, caring, and professional representation.

Our Denver trust administration attorneys are skilled at using a variety of traditional and innovative strategies to assist our clients with their various trust administration needs. Our goal is to help our clients in achieving prudent solutions that will protect them, their assets, and their families in the future.

Contact Colorado Estate Matters today

For assistance administering trusts, contact an experienced and trusted Denver trust administration attorney from Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd. You can learn more about our array of trust services by meeting with us for an initial consultation. To schedule this meeting, call us at (303) 713-9147 or email us using our convenient online contact form.

Schedule a FREE consultation with us.

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Justin W. Blow

Managing Partner and Attorney

Common Probate Questions

What is probate in Colorado?
Probate in Colorado is the legal process by which a deceased person’s assets are distributed and their debts are paid under court supervision.
When is probate necessary in Colorado?
Probate is typically required when a person dies with assets solely in their name, and those assets exceed a certain value, or there’s any real estate. The threshold amount changes over time, so checking the current limits is essential.
How do I start the probate process in Colorado?
To initiate probate in Colorado, you need to determine if formal probate is required, and then file an Application or a Petition (as well as the necessary ancillary documents) with the appropriate court, depending on the circumstances.
What assets are subject to probate in Colorado?
Generally, assets that are solely owned by the deceased, such as real estate, bank accounts, and personal property, are subject to probate. Jointly owned assets with rights of survivorship, assets held in a trust, and assets with designated beneficiaries typically bypass probate.
How long does the probate process take in Colorado?
The duration of probate in Colorado can vary depending on the complexity of the estate and any disputes that may arise. Often it takes a year or more to complete.
What are the costs associated with probate in Colorado?
Probate costs in Colorado can include court fees, attorney fees, personal representative fees, and other administrative expenses. These costs can vary based on the size and complexity of the estate.
Can I avoid probate in Colorado?
Yes, there are strategies to avoid probate in Colorado, such as creating a revocable living trust, using beneficiary designations on assets like life insurance policies and retirement accounts, and jointly owning property with rights of survivorship.
What are the rights and responsibilities of a personal representative in Colorado?
The personal representative (executor or administrator) is responsible for managing the estate, paying certain debts and taxes, and distributing assets to beneficiaries in accordance with the law and the deceased person’s will (if one exists).
How are disputes handled in Colorado probate cases?
Disputes in Colorado probate cases can be resolved through mediation, negotiation, or litigation in court if necessary. Common disputes may involve the validity of the will, claims by creditors, or disagreements among beneficiaries.
Is estate tax a concern in Colorado probate?

Colorado does not have a state-level estate tax, but federal estate tax may apply to larger estates. It’s important to consider federal tax implications when dealing with an estate.

Is estate tax a concern in Colorado probate?

Colorado does not have a state-level estate tax, but federal estate tax may apply to larger estates. It’s important to consider federal tax implications when dealing with an estate.
 It’s essential to consult with an attorney or legal professional experienced in Colorado probate law to get accurate and up-to-date information and guidance on your probate matter.

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