Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Start With a Good Inventory

Whether you're the grantor or settlor of the trust or whether you've just become trustee of another person's trust, a good inventory (or list) of the assets of the trust will very helpful.

Make note of each asset and the asset's location. Describe the asset which as much detail as you have, including account numbers, model numbers, vehicle identification numbers, legal descriptions and property identification numbers, where appropriate.

Start by estimating the value of each asset, but remember that it may be necessary to have the assets appraised in some circumstances. You can get asset values online, at websites such as Kelley Blue Book or Nada Guides for vehicles, RVs, boats, motorcyles, personal watercraft and more.

A detailed trust inventory will ensure the trustee has the information they need to fulfill their duties under the trust agreement and under Michigan law. For more information about how this information might be helpful, see the following statute at the Michigan legislature's website:

MCL 700.7303 Duty to Inform and Account to Beneficiaries.

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