HomeCalifornia Trust Administration

Are you named as the Successor Trustee in a Trust? Are you expected to administer a trust in California?

Trust Administration in California

Some trusts are simple probate avoidance trusts wherein in the Trustees role is to transfer title to real property to the trust beneficiaries. This may sound simple but if you overlook the preparation and filing of tax forms and other certain transfer forms with the state of California and the local taxing authorities it can and most likely will have the disastrous results of increased property taxes for the trust beneficiaries which may be your children and grandchildren.

Immediately upon accepting the role of trustee there are required notices that must also be given to all beneficiaries and they must contain certain language specified by California Probate Code.

The tasks assigned by the trust may be appear simple but there are numerous related filings, notices, inventories, and documents that are required before and after certain acts take place to ensure the least ramifications to the estate and beneficiaries. If the trust contains gifts to minors, charities, or persons with special needs there are even more duties and acts the trustee must undertake.  If there are provisions for continuing administration for minors, charities, or for ongoing generations, your role is much more involved.

Once you accept the role as trustee, you are duty bound by the California Probate Code to marshal and protect the trust property. This is only one of the duties you are vest with. The other duties include but are not limited to:

  • Duty to make trust assets productive;
  • Duty to communicate;
  • Duty to earmark;
  • Duty to invest;
  • Duty to account;
  • Prudent Investor Rule;
  • There are others but these are the highlights.

As a Trustee, you are not afford any leeway to make mistakes.

If a beneficiary of the trust has reason to believe you acted improperly, they can bring action against you, stating the actions in question. As the Trustee, it will be up to you to defend your actions.

If you accept your role as a Trustee, you may choose to retain the services of a experienced Trust administration attorney to aid them in the administration of the trust. When you retain RAXTER LAW, P.A., we work with you on an on-going basis to handle the responsibilities of your Trust Administration.