Much of the public has heard that implementing a Living Trust avoids the probate process. This understanding is correct and constitutes the major reason a person uses a trust as their main estate vehicle as opposed to a Will. However, much of the public automatically assumes that if no probate is required, then nothing needs to be done when a creator of a trust passes away. In other words, when a person with a trust dies there is no administration required at all. This assumption simply is not true.
Every estate (whether a will or trust), must be administered in some shape or form. And yes Virginia, there is trust administration. As with probate, there are a multitude of laws relating to the administration of a trust which must be followed.
In fact, many of the same procedures implemented in a probate are also utilized when administering a trust. As in a probate proceeding, trust administration requires an inventory and appraisal of the assets at the time of death, the payment of debts and taxes, and the distribution of the trust assets to the beneficiaries as directed by the terms of the trust.
If you are a successor trustee and need administration assistance, contact a Thousand Oaks trust lawyer with Family Security Law Group, APC at 805-409-0108 to schedule your complimentary 30 minute consultation.
The big difference is that probate takes place in a courtroom, whereas the administration of a trust is generally conducted in private without any court intervention. In addition, the time for administering a trust estate may be much shorter than a probate and the cost for administering a trust may be less than for a probate.
The designated trustee is the fiduciary who is responsible for, among other things, safeguarding trust assets, accounting for the assets and all income and expenses, selling assets, paying debts and taxes, and distributing the trust per the direction of the trust document. A trustee is at risk for potential liability for failing to act diligently and timely. Trust administration is important to have handled properly as there are many legal, tax, and financial aspects of the estate which are deadline driven and must be performed competently.
Handling the administration of a trust entails an abundance of legal and financial issues. The appointed trustee is a legal fiduciary and is duty bound to properly administer the trust pursuant to the trust’s terms and state law. Our law firm has developed a proprietary system for efficiently handling all aspects of a trust administration which our clients have found extremely beneficial. Please give us a call so we can help you.
Our trust attorneys serve Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Moorpark, Camarillo, Simi Valley, Agoura and other cities throughout Ventura County and Los Angeles County and have been helping clients administer trusts for over 35 years.
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