Trust administration is often ignored after death. The thought is that a Trust avoids probate and therefore no work is needed. This is simply not true. Although Trust administration is a private process that is shorter and less expensive than Probate (the court process when someone dies without an estate plan). In most cases, trustees are required under Section Code §16061.7 to provide notice to the beneficiaries. This notice informs the beneficiaries of the Trust’s irrevocability, identifies the trustee and the address of the Trust Administration. The beneficiaries have 120 days from the date of the notice to contest the Trust. Because of this 120-day contest period, beneficiaries should expect to receive their Trust distributions six months to a year after the passing of a loved one. A family meeting with an attorney can help inform the beneficiaries as well as the Trustees of the Trust administration process and the timeline so all parties are on the same page.
Our experienced attorneys at First Class Counsel are ready to assist you and your family members with your Trust administration. If you are a Trustee and a loved one has passed, it is critical and your fiduciary duty to keep an accurate Trust accounting from the date of their passing. The accounting provides valuable information to the beneficiaries, including reimbursements for various expenses. In general, trustees are required by law to provide an accounting to the beneficiaries no less than annually or upon the reasonable request of the beneficiaries. We understand being a trustee is a huge responsibility and are here to guide you through the Trust administration process. We will answer all of your questions and inform you of all your rights and responsibilities. You should be aware that a Trustee is entitled to compensation for his/her services (not to exceed 1% of the trust estate at the date of death, or a reasonable hourly rate as an alternative).
Call our firm today to learn more about Trust Administration and your role as a Trustee.