When You Are Named Administrator
When named Trust Administrator, the best advice is: don't move forward alone. The trust administration process can be long and contain many different dates and deadlines that, if missed, can cause you to be liable and at risk for litigation.
Whether you are a trust administrator in Orange County or somewhere else across California, you must complete many tasks in the process of carrying out a trust. Find these listed below in addition to where to find legal help to avoid unwanted trust litigation.
Responsibilities of an Administrator
There are a number of core responsibilities a trust administrator must uphold no matter what the situation. These include:
- Duty of Loyalty: a trustee must act within the best interests of the beneficiaries
- Duty of Disclosure: a trustee must disclose material facts to beneficiaries and keep them reasonably informed regarding the status of the trust and the actions of the trustee
- Duty of Impartiality: a trustee must treat all beneficiaries equally
- Duty to Enforce and Defend Claims: a trustee must enforce of defend claims when reasonable and prudent, even if those claims cause loss to the trust overall
While these may seem like simple terms, the legal implication and potential liability they create are severe. Add this to the emotional strain and deadlines of the probate process and a trustee is likely to feel overwhelmed.
Within 30 days of the decedent's passing, your first responsibility is to file the trust and any codicils with the county clerk. You must file these papers in the county which the decedent lived at the time of their death. If the estate plan requires probate, you are responsible for a filing fee.
After filing the documents, even a living trust becomes irrevocable. As such, trust disbursements cannot change without proceeding through a formal contest process.
Next, within 60 days of the decedent's passing, you are responsible for alerting any heirs and beneficiaries of the death and rights as beneficiaries. Rights include the right to request a copy of the document and a right to contest the estate. You must inform them in writing as this triggers a 120-day timer in which they can voice their grievances.
After addressing these primary responsibilities, you must begin carrying out wishes outlined within the terms of the trust. For many, this includes taking a valuation of assets, repaying final debts, and carrying out financial disbursements, investments, and property sales.
Furthermore, there is sometimes the need to pay back taxes. While these can include state and federal income taxes, they can also induce estate tax returns if the overall estate value is above the California exemption threshold.
Trust Administration Irvine
The above is only a brief look at what is yet to come. However, understand that the information on this website is made for general information purposes only the challenges you may face varies depending on each individual case and situation.
When you choose the DIY route of dealing with an estate plan, you run the risk of making costly and time-consuming mistakes. Whether you need help with trust administration in Los Angeles or another California location entirely, the Legacy Lawyers can work closely with you to ensure you are getting the best legal advice around.
Have questions or are interested in starting your administrative journey? Reach out to our law firm for an initial consultation with a trust administration attorney and receive legal help as soon as possible at (714) 963-7543
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"I'm very happy with the way things are going. My case has more complex issues, and The Legacy Lawyers have straightened out a lot of strange problems that my case started with. Everyone at The Legacy Lawyers has been great."
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