How Much Does Trust Administration Cost?

The cost of trust administration depends on the complexity of the trust--primarily meaning that it depends on the type of trust and number of assets. While there are costs of transferring assets, such as closing costs and broker commissions in the sale of real property, people are primarily concerned with how much the attorney's fees are in a trust administration.

In an ordinary trust administration, the attorney's fees will range anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000. Ordinary administrations will involve at least one piece of real property and financial accounts and a simple distribution scheme (i.e., percentage-based residual distributions). 

The attorney's fees are usually impacted by the vendors selected. For example, if you utilize inexperienced vendors, then the law firm's involvement is likely to be greater, whereas if you utilize experienced vendors, the law firm's involvement in the administration is reduced. Usually this arises because vendors either contact the law firm to understand what they are required to do, or they take inappropriate action that must be remedied by the law firm.

Typically, an experienced administration attorney will have vendors that they have worked with in the past that understand the requirements and unique circumstances of trust administration and can refer you to those vendors.

More complex trust administrations will involve business interests, multiple properties, estate tax issues, complex distribution schemes, litigation, beneficiary disputes, or other issues. These types of trust administrations require preparation of multiple legal documents, coordination with interested parties, and many other tasks, depending on the circumstances.

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