Trust Administration

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.

She calmed us down and handled everything

“I had to handle my Mom’s estate when after she passed away. But I knew I needed a specialist to handle the trust administration. I had a lot of family that was involved as well. So we met with Ellen. She was great. We met her and she calmed us down. She signed all of the papers, filled out the documents, we gave her a big hug and we were out the door.”

– Alice and Bill Whitley

Trust Attorneys

Here are just a few reasons why you need a trust attorney to assist:

  1. The steps required for a trust administration are complex (see above), especially if one is new to the trust administration process.
  2. There are 5 different types of taxes implicated in trust administration:
    • Estate taxes
    • Capital gains taxes
    • California property taxes
    • Generation-skipping transfer taxes
    • Income taxes
  3. Successor trustees have a fiduciary responsibility to perform their duties correctly, and they can be sued under California law for any missteps by the beneficiaries or creditors of the trust.

We can simplify the trust administration process. Find out how.

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