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Trust Administration

Trust Administration

If estate planning is the process of designing a playbook, trust administration occurs when the playbook is put into action. The process begins with an event that triggers a provision in your estate plan, such as incapacity or death.  The plan becomes ‘executory’, meaning that the individuals you designated in your plan documents must step into action and execute according to your instructions.

Trust administration can be complex and the people you have designated must have competent and experienced counsel to guide them through the process.  They must make important decisions ‘ sometimes quickly ‘ and they need help to make them wisely.  They may need to prepare inventories of your property, prepare tax returns, manage assets, pay debts or sign other important documents on your behalf.  Ultimately they must divide and distribute your property to those individuals or charities you identified in your trust agreement.

The trust administration process carries a lot of responsibilities.  Our goal is to provide the trustee with the maximum amount of protection from both public and private interests.  We can help guide your loved ones through the process as sensitively and completely as possible, and will try to make it as straightforward and efficient as possible.

A properly drafted and funded revocable living trust will generally avoid probate.  A living trust is a legal document that, just like a will, contains your instructions for what you want to happen to your assets when you die.  Like a will, a living trust can avoid probate at death, but a revocable trust can also control all of your assets and prevent the court from controlling your assets if you become incapacitated.  Upon the death of a trust maker, our law firm offers legal services to your successor trustee.   The trustee is responsible for seeing that the assets of the trust are distributed properly and in a timely manner.   An overview of the guidance we provide includes:

  • Review of the trust document
  • Creation of new Certification of Trust
  • Assist with placing the Will on file with the required Court Clerk’s office
  • Prepare and filing of documents with the County Recorder and County Assessor’s office
  • Advise the Trustee regarding payment of last bills and expenses
  • Assist in preparing Trust inventory
  • Prepare and provide proper notice to Trust beneficiaries
  • Assist with gathering of all trust assets
  • Hiring other professionals for appraisal of Trust assets, sale of personal or real property or accounting services
  • Assist with family interactions and communications
  • Assist with accounting and reporting to beneficiaries
  • Assist with filing of final tax returns
  • Explanation of trustee responsibilities
  • Estate Tax Analysis
  • Collection of death benefits
  • Creation of sub-trusts
  • Dissolution of trust

Contact us today to discuss your trust administration questions.