Upon your death, your trust will go through a process called Trust Administration. Your revocable living trust controls how assets titled in the trust pass to the next generation when you (the grantor/settlor) die, thus avoiding probate. But this process isn’t automatic, as some might think; the successor trustee (i.e. the manager next in line) needs to go through a steps required in Trust Administration:
- Various forms and notifications must be filed, pursuant to the California Probate Code, mandates of government agencies and county assessor offices;
- Get Tax ID number for trust,
- “Marshal” the trust assets, that is, figure out which assets are held in the trust, and then obtain bank statements as of your date of death, “date of death” valuations for securities you own, and appraisals for real property you owned;
- Pay off any creditors of yours;
- Remove your name from title on assets (for example, a bank account held as “Jane Doe, Trustee of the Jane Doe Revocable Trust” would be retitled as “John Jones, Successor Trustee of the Jane Doe Revocable Trust”);
- File final income taxes and estate taxes (if required);
- And FINALLY: Transfer trust assets to the beneficiaries.