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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12955
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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My mother passed away Oct 2012 in State of Maine leaving a

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My mother passed away Oct 2012 in State of Maine leaving a Will and Revocable Living Trust Agreement. ALL debts and taxes have been paid. Maine audits ALL Estates exceeding one million dollars and the State is 18 months behind schedule. Maine received their Estate tax payment in July 2013 (9 months after date of death). I am keeping $50,000 in an Estate Checking Acct. as a safety measure in case they ask for more taxes when their audit is completed.

All disbursements have been made to the beneficiaries according to the Will and Trust, except for the $50,000 safety fund in the Estate Checking Account, which will be disbursed upon receipt of the Closing Letter from the State of Maine.

My question is: Can I, as personal representative and one of the beneficiaries, be in charge of the Estate Checking Account and close the Trust. I am having a difficult time finding someone to take the position of Trustee, other than an institution that charges exhorbitant fees. My accountant is handling all the tax matters, but is hesitant on becoming the Trustee. My sister and I had the original Trustee, Bank of America, removed because of their outrageous fees beiing charged to the remaining Trust funds in a money market acct. (Trust stated 2/3 of beneficiaries were required to do this). The person who took over for the Bank of America now wants to relinguish his duties as Trustee.

I am hoping I can go forward without a Trustee. I realize there is a liability that will fall on me if the State of Maine asks for more money than is in the Estate Checking account. I will have to ask my brother and sister for additional funds, but I foresee no problem with this. It is highly unlikely that the State of Maine will seek additional funds, if any, greater than $50,000. I would love to simplify my life and not have to deal with a Trustee at this point in time. May I legally close the Trust at this point in time?

Thank you very much for your time and advice in this matter.

Kathy XXX@XXXXXX.XXX
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Hello: This is PhillipsEsq. I am a licensed Attorney and I will be assisting you today.


What is currently in the trust?

Who are the beneficiaries?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

There is currently $500 in the Trust, and approximately $67,000 in the Estate checking account.


 


The beneficiaries are myself, my brother, and my sister. We are all over 60 years old.

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you. Did you just say $500.00? Or did you mean $500,000.00?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

I really did say $500.00! At this point in time, a year after my mother's death, the Estate has almost completely been settled, except for the fact that the State of Maine is behind in their audits (18 months behind), thereby, forcing us to keep additional funds just in case Maine asks for more money. I would like to keep ALL remaining funds in the Estate Checking Account with me as personal representative taking full responsibility. After receiving the Closing Letter from the State of Maine after they complete their audit, I plan to have a "Receipt and Release" Agreement signed by my brother and sister. releasing me from any liability, and I will then send the final distribution checks out.

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for the information.


Your Question:


My mother passed away Oct 2012 in State of Maine leaving a Will and Revocable Living Trust Agreement. ALL debts and taxes have been paid. Maine audits ALL Estates exceeding one million dollars and the State is 18 months behind schedule. Maine received their Estate tax payment in July 2013 (9 months after date of death). I am keeping $50,000 in an Estate Checking Acct. as a safety measure in case they ask for more taxes when their audit is completed.

All disbursements have been made to the beneficiaries according to the Will and Trust, except for the $50,000 safety fund in the Estate Checking Account, which will be disbursed upon receipt of the Closing Letter from the State of Maine.


My question is: Can I, as personal representative and one of the beneficiaries, be in charge of the Estate Checking Account and close the Trust. I am having a difficult time finding someone to take the position of Trustee, other than an institution that charges exhorbitant fees. My accountant is handling all the tax matters, but is hesitant on becoming the Trustee. My sister and I had the original Trustee, Bank of America, removed because of their outrageous fees beiing charged to the remaining Trust funds in a money market acct. (Trust stated 2/3 of beneficiaries were required to do this). The person who took over for the Bank of America now wants to relinguish his duties as Trustee.



Response 1: Yes to the Estate Checking Account. No, to the closing of the Trust because it has to be done by the Trustee because of the value of the Trust at this time. There is no need to involve the Courts, which would happen if you and your siblings try to close the Trust. See Maine Revised Statutes Title 18-B Chapter 4 Section 411 subsection 2




I am hoping I can go forward without a Trustee. I realize there is a liability that will fall on me if the State of Maine asks for more money than is in the Estate Checking account. I will have to ask my brother and sister for additional funds, but I foresee no problem with this. It is highly unlikely that the State of Maine will seek additional funds, if any, greater than $50,000. I would love to simplify my life and not have to deal with a Trustee at this point in time. May I legally close the Trust at this point in time?

Thank you very much for your time and advice in this matter.




Response 2: The trust can be closed, but it has to be done by the Trustee pursuant to Maine Revised Statutes Title 18-B Chapter 4 Section 414. This is simply done by the Trustee after notification to all the beneficiaries it is not worth to administer a Trust that now only has $500.00 in it.


Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12955
Experience: B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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