Administration of a Trust after the death of the person who created the trust (known as the Grantor) is a non-court (private) process to transfer assets of the Grantor upon death. Trust Administration is a parallel process to the probate process to transfer assets at death. Probate is a court process, where an executor (or personal representative) administers the estate. Trust Administration is a private process, where a trustee, instead of an executor (or personal representative), administers the estate.
During the Trust Administration process, the successor trustee manages the Trust for the beneficiaries who will eventually receive the assets or income owned by the Trust. Essentially, Trust Administration allows the trustee to carry out the terms of the Trust.
A trustee owes a fiduciary duty to the Trust beneficiaries and must complete certain tasks to fulfill the fiduciary duty. A fiduciary duty is the legal responsibility to act solely in the best interest of another party. In administering the estate the trustee must preserve and protect the assets placed in the Trust and ensure that transfers of Trust assets are made to or for the beneficiaries of the Trust in a timely and effective manner.
During the Trust Administration process a trustee may work with a trusted financial or legal advisor to ensure that the terms of the Trust are properly followed.