One of the questions that some Georgia residents might neglect to ask when they agree to take on a responsibility with regard to someone’s estate plan is how long they are expected to serve. The executor of a will might readily understand that there will be an end to the job, but a trustee might not have the same assurance. Fortunately, trust administration will end in many trusts. The question then becomes when and how the job will end.
Obviously, if the assets in the trust are fully distributed, there is no further need for it. The grantor (creator) of the trust can also specify when the trust will end. For example, the grantor could instruct the trustee to fully distribute the assets in the trust when the last beneficiary (if there are multiple) either turns a certain age or completes a life event such as graduation from college or marriage.
Whatever event triggers the end of the trust, the trustee will be responsible for working with the beneficiary or beneficiaries to distribute any remaining assets. Hopefully, the grantor included provisions in the trust regarding how to distribute the assets — especially if there are multiple beneficiaries. In the absence of such provisions, the trustee can work with the beneficiaries to determine the best way to do so.
When you are called to handle trust administration, it would be a good idea to have it reviewed by a Georgia estate-planning attorney to determine what the parameters of your duties are and how the trust will be terminated. He or she can also handle any legal matters connected to your administrative duties. Having a clear understanding of what you are required to do and how long you will be doing it can put your mind, and the minds of the beneficiaries, at ease.
Source: FindLaw, “How Does a Trust End?“, Nov. 28, 2016