Practice Areas

Trust Administration

When someone passes away that has planned ahead, executed a trust during their lifetime, and properly funded that trust, then their estate can be distributed to their beneficiaries through a trust administration. This means that there is no need for a probate proceeding in a Court and that the estate administration can be carried out without Court supervision.

Ventura County Trust Administration Attorneys ©Valentin MendozaThe person who executes the Trust is sometimes called the “settlor,” “trustor” or “grantor.” A trust must name a Trustee, or a person who will carry out the terms of the trust. There can be co-trustees if the trustor wants more than one person to carry out the terms of their trust.

Trusts come in many different shapes and sizes. Therefore one trust administration can look very different than another. However, because there is no court proceeding, a trust administration could be concluded in about four months – if the terms of the trust are simple, no assets are to be “held” for any beneficiaries, and no real estate needs to be sold. However, if the trust states that any assets are to be held for any length of time for any beneficiaries, the trustee must follow those parameters.

A trust estate includes any assets that are titled in the trust’s name only. Assets held in joint tenancy do not apply, as they would automatically pass to the other joint tenant(s) named on the title of that asset. Retirement accounts, payable on death accounts, life insurance policies, and other assets that have named beneficiaries will also not be included in the trust estate, since they will automatically pass to those named beneficiaries.

To close a trust administration, it is recommended that the trustee tell the trust beneficiaries about the administration of the trust, the finances of the trust, and how the trust will be ultimately distributed. Once the trustee has completed all of the steps of the trust administration, disclosed the events of the trust administration to the beneficiaries, paid any costs of administration, and completed any tax returns for the trust and estate of the decedent, the trust estate may be distributed.

Trust administrations can be very complicated, with many probate code sections to follow. Hiring an attorney is highly recommended when dealing with a loved one’s trust estate. We would be happy to help you through this oftentimes convoluted and challenging process.