Trust Administration Attorney California - The Legacy Lawyers

California Trust Administration Attorney


If you are a trust administrator, there is no room for error in the weeks following the death of a loved one. Should you incorrectly complete the terms of the trust, this could leave you vulnerable to liability, litigation, and a probate process that lasts far longer than necessary.

What is a Trust Administrator?

A trust administrator is the person appointed by the probate court to oversee a decedent's estate when there is no will, following explicit details inside of the trust. The trust administrator communicates with all parties involved, maintains any payments and retains records for any receipts for the trust.

Responsibilities of a Trust Administrator

There are a number of core responsibilities a trust administrator must uphold no matter what the situation. These include:

  1. Duty of Loyalty: a trustee must act within the best interests of the beneficiaries
  2. 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
  3. Duty of Impartiality: a trustee must treat all beneficiaries equally
  4. 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.

Timeline for Trust Administration

Within 30 days of the decedent's passing, you must file the most current trust and any codicils with the county clerk. You must further file these documents in the county where the decedent lived at the time of their death.

No matter what type of trust you file, this act causes the document to become irrevocable— a representation of the decedent's final wishes. As such, trust asset disbursements can not change after this point 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 concerns, you must begin carrying out the wishes outlined in 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.

How to get legal help with a Trust in California?

The above is only a brief look at what is yet to come when you are named to administer a trust. Working with a law office who has years of experience with trust administration cases, is integral to making the process as simple as possible.

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

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Rather than wait until you’ve reached a tricky situation, it makes sense to have an ongoing relationship with the experienced trust administration attorney at The Legacy Lawyers.

This page does not provide legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. To schedule a consultation with an experienced trust administration lawyer, contact our law firm today.

Call 800-840-1998