Do I Need an Attorney to Administer a Trust in California?
We understand that everyone processes grief differently. Some families call right away, worried that certain actions need to be taken care of immediately. Other’s need more time to process and mourn and wait a month or two before contacting an attorney. Generally, the main two tasks that need to be taken care of immediately are notifying social security and ordering death certificates, which can be ordered through the mortuary where the decedent is. Before the Trust Administration process can even begin, the Successor Trustee of the Trust will need to obtain death certificates. They should then call an experienced trust administration attorney to set up an appointment to learn more about their obligations and see how the attorney can assist them during this difficult time.
Can I Handle Trust Administration Without Legal Counsel?
The short answer is: most likely not. The main reason is not that Trust Administration is difficult or complex, but because a Trustee (who most likely is a first time Trustee for an estate) does not know the precise steps that need to be taken and what requirements and duties there is to be a Trustee. It’s just not something a normal person would know how to do or would learn unless you specialize in this field. Another thing to note is that the Trust Administration can also be very time-consuming and near impossible for those who are working, taking care of others, etc, and since your time is valuable, we recommend not to waste it and have an expert take the correct steps for you.
What Documents Do I Need to Start the Trust Administration Process in California?
Once you step up an appointment with an experienced attorney to begin the Trust Administration process, you may be wondering what documents you need to gather for the appointment. With these documents, the attorney will be able to review them with the Trustee and explain what needs to be done to properly administer the trust. Here is a general list of documents you should have handy:
- Any of the decedent’s Estate Planning documents, such as their Living
Trust, Will, or Powers of Attorney. (Originals are best but copies will suffice)
- Original Death Certificates. (Copies will NOT suffice)
- Most Recent Financial Statements (Checking accounts, Savings accounts, CD’s, IRA’s, 401k’s, Life Insurance, Stocks, Bonds, etc)
- and information regarding any real property that the decedent owned.
I’m Ready to Begin the Trust Administration Process…What Do I Do Next?
Whether you are just starting the Trust Administration process or have already begun, it is always best to make sure the Trustee gets everything done correctly so there are no legal repercussions. Give us a call for a Free Trust Administration consultation today. Our team will do whatever we can to help ease your family through this difficult time. We look forward to working with you!