A loved one has passed and at the time of their passing they had an estate plan in place, and they named you the Successor Trustee – what´s next? Now that the Trustee(s)/Settlor(s) have passed, the Trust must be “administered”. To ensure no issues, arise during the Trust Administration process, it is wise to hire an attorney to assist you. The primary reason why Trust Administration is not needed to be court-supervised is that there is specific legal language in trusts that require certain duties and processes to be taken. Trusts can be simple and, in some cases, can be complex. Say for example a designated beneficiary is disabled and a special needs trust is required – we can assist in ensuring that step is taken. Perhaps the trust was not funded properly, meaning that a Trust Transfer Deed on the Trustee(s) property was never executed, therefore, perhaps a Heggstead Petition is necessary to show the intent of the Trustee to place the asset in their Trust – this is something our Sacramento trust administration attorney from The Sterling Law Group, A.P.C.is very familiar with.
There are certain steps mandatory in Trust Administration, such as notifying the Department of Health Care Services to confirm that there are no claims against the decedent(s). An Affidavit Death of Trustee is required to ensure properly titling when the Successor Trustee goes to sell the real property owned by the Trust. Additionally, California Code requires timely notice of death to beneficiaries – this includes specific information. After this notice is properly served, those served have a minimum of 120 days to contest said Trust and a maximum of 180 days to contest – these dates can be further explained by our firm. A lot of issues can arise because of this required notice; therefore, it is important to hire a firm that is well versed in all the statutes and codes required. Accountings are also required annually to beneficiaries of a Trust. There are a lot of caveats when it comes to Trust Administration, and we are here to help ease the process.
Even without the intent of the Successor Trustee, a wrong turn can accidentally be taken and perhaps this action upsets the beneficiaries, ultimately leading to the Successor Trustee being sued. Our Law Firm deals mostly with Trust Litigation, we know the reasons why many beneficiaries open up a lawsuit against Successor Trustees, thus we are able to advise on how to properly administer a Trust.
As a Successor Trustee, you are fiduciarily responsible to the Trust and its beneficiaries. This means it is important to act in a manner that benefits the whole and is not impartial. Circumstances arise where you will be uncertain how to act – we are here to help advise you. Come meet us during a complimentary consultation where the Trust Administration process will be delved into more deeply.
Our trust administration attorney from The Sterling Law Group, A.P.C. has been serving for years trustees and beneficiaries in the Sacramento area and near your location. Contact us to speak with one of our experienced & resourceful attorneys today at (916) 790-0852. We offer free consultations to help you with immediate concerns.