For those who have been named a successor trustee to a trust, the responsibilities are significant. Upon the death of the creator of the trust, the successor must carry out the wishes of the creator. However, this process is fraught with challenges including notifications to the beneficiaries of the trust.
California’s probate code is specific about notifications to heirs. Timing, wording, and even font size are dictated by the code. Any errors can result in legal action being taken against the trustee. In some cases, beneficiaries may be able to contest the trust for up to four years if errors are made.
Hiring an attorney to assist with trust administration is highly recommended. There are numerous steps the successor trustee must take after notifying beneficiaries including valuation of the assets. The successor trustee is also required to provide a full inventory to each trustee, carry out the terms of the trust, and file required taxes.
In some cases, the successor trustee must make a determination of which assets must be handled through the probate process. For example, if the original trustee did not transfer a solely owned home to the trust, the property would go through the normal probate process. This is one of the reasons it is important to work with an attorney who has experience handling trust administration.
If you have been named a successor trustee of a California trust, we can help you through this process. We have helped people successfully administer trusts in San Diego, CA. Contact the Law Office of Elise Paul, APC for assistance today.