Trust and Estate Administration In General
Upon the death of a trustor (a founder of a trust), it is necessary under California law to initiate a trust administration. This applies to both single trustors and married trustors.
Typically, the trust administration process takes weeks to complete. This differs greatly from the average duration of a probate court proceeding in San Diego County which, on average, lasts 16 months, if not more.
Single Trustor Trust Administration
Whether you are married or single, if you established your own single-trustor trust during your lifetime, upon your death, your successor trustee must initiate the trust administration process. This is done by contacting our firm and scheduling a consultation to discuss the steps that need to be taken to administer the trust and make distributions from the trust to the beneficiaries.
Family Trust Administration
Administration at the Death of the First Spouse to Die
For married couples who have a family trust with their spouse, if a spouse dies, trust administration is needed to clear title to all real property into the name of the surviving spouse, prepare a trust certification for the surviving trustee-spouse, divide the trust into a survivor’s trust and a decedent’s trust if called for by the trust document, and make any distributions to beneficiaries called for by the trust.
Administration at the Death of the Surviving Spouse
Upon the death of the surviving trustor-spouse, your successor trustee is tasked with managing and administering your trust for the benefit of your named beneficiaries. Certain steps must be taken to provide statutory notifications to beneficiaries regarding the trust and the location and identity of the successor trustee, prepare a trust certification for the successor trustee to vest him or her with the authority to act on behalf of the trust, clear title to all real property into the name of the successor trustee so that he or she may make the required distributions, and to make the distributions called for by the trust.
The trust and estate administration process can be overwhelming to successor trustees, especially if the trustor was a close family member or friend. During this time of bereavement, our firm is here to help guide you through the process, help your trustee understand the terms of the trust, and effectuate the trustor’s intent with respect to trust distributions. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation. Also, look for our frequently offered “Successor Trustee Classes” that instruct and inform trustees of their obligations both during the incapacity and after the death of a trustor.