Trust administration is the process of administering an estate when someone dies with a trust. While a trust does not need to be filed with the court, there are necessary steps that must be taken: assets must be identified and gathered, debts, taxes and final expenses paid, various government agencies and institutions must be notified, and finally, distributions must be made according to the terms of the trust.
There are many steps involved, and, under California law, if the trustee does not do everything properly they may be held personally liable.
You do not have to go through this alone. If you have been named as successor trustee of a loved one’s trust, we can help. Contact us today and we will help guide you through the process.
Immediately After Death
When a loved one passes away, often there are questions as to what needs to immediately be done. There is nothing that needs to be done immediately, however, here is a list of do’s and don’t’s:
- Do not drive the deceased’s car
- Do not withdraw money from any of the deceased’s accounts
- Do not pay any debts other than funeral expenses
- Do not use the deceased’s credit cards
- Do not close any accounts
- Do locate the deceased’s estate planning documents
- Do take the time to be with your family
You do not need to call us right away, but we do recommend you set up an appointment within 2-3 weeks after death. When we meet, we will help you understand your duties as trustee and what needs to be done to administer the trust in the best way to minimize expense, fees, and family conflict.
If you are the successor trustee of a loved one’s trust and want to know what you should do, contact us today.