Trust Administration

Put Your Trust in Good Hands

Many people mistakenly believe that setting up a living trust eliminates the cost and responsibilities of administering a trust. This is not correct. If you are a trustee, there are many duties to which you must direct your attention.

Not only does the trust require attention as soon as the settlor has passed away, but there are many continuing responsibilities as long as the trust is being administered. Handling a trust on your own can be exceedingly complex, and it is in your best interest to obtain the guidance and support of our skilled Fremont estate planning lawyers at Rodriguez Lagorio, LLP. Talk to us about your administration needs, or learn more about the demands of trust administration below.

What Is Trust Administration?

A trust is a legal entity that holds property intended to benefit one or more parties (beneficiaries). Many trusts are created as part of estate plans to support the creator’s loved ones after they are gone. However, the beneficiaries do not automatically have the right to control the trust or its assets. Instead, the trust is managed, or administered, by one or more trustees. Trustees decide how the property should be managed, when the beneficiaries receive disbursements, and many other matters.

What Are the Responsibilities of Trustees in California?

Under California law, the trustee has what is known as a “fiduciary duty” to the trust beneficiaries and must ensure that the trust is properly administered according to its terms. According to the law, a fiduciary duty is the highest recognized duty, and failure to comply with this duty could result in legal action.

A trustee is responsible for properly managing the trust, including disbursing assets to beneficiaries or investing trust assets. Other responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Notifying beneficiaries according to California law
  • Preparing an inventory of all assets held by the trust
  • Preparing annual accountings which reflect how the trust has been managed

These and other regulations imposed on trust administration make overseeing a trust quite challenging. Most trustees require the assistance of an experienced California estate planning attorney to live up to their fiduciary duty and avoid liability for mismanagement.

Avoid the Pitfalls of Trust Administration: Talk to a Fremont Administration Attorney

You don’t have to be a financial expert to act as a trustee. However, you do need skilled legal counsel. You can be proactive by getting the necessary tools, resources, and legal representation in advance. Whether the trust you oversee is small or substantial, our attorneys can provide comprehensive help for trustees.

Send an email to initiate a consultation or call our firm in Fremont at 925-963-2709. Trust administration is a serious responsibility. We will provide you with the information and legal advice you need to be able to oversee a trust to the best of your ability.