Santa Cruz Estate Planning Attorney

Trust Administration

Administration of a trust is the equivalent of probate for a Will. Often the subsequent trustee is a loved one and may not have the time or experience to handle administering the trust. Attorneys, accountants and investors can all be helpful based on how complex the trust assets are. We can help follow through with all the required steps and help a trustee understand what duties they owe to the beneficiaries.

Generally the subsequent trustee must contact all heirs; collect the estate?s assets; arrange for appraisals of real property; pay any of the estate?s debts; file final tax returns and distribute the assets according to the trust instructions. These steps can be time consuming and a trustee who works full time or cares for their own family may have a hard time accomplishing them without some help.

In addition to following the proper steps, California law places numerous duties on trustees. The trustee must be loyal to all beneficiaries; make trust property productive; adhere to prudent investment standards and account to beneficiaries. It may be complicated to understand the standards of care a trustee must adhere to and the longer the trust takes to distribute the longer these duties must be upheld.

If you find yourself named as the trustee of a loved ones estate there is help available from numerous sources. An attorney can help understand the process and duties owed. We can offer the amount of help you need. If that is just giving some legal advice or handling the whole estate, we can help meet your needs. If you have any questions about administration of an estate we invite you to come in for a consultation to at least talk about what you need to do before you make any decisions.