Probate, Estate And Trust Administration: An Overview
Probate and trust administration refer to the legal processes of managing and transferring wealth and assets upon a person’s death. The probate process in California is filled with many complex technical requirements that must be followed in order for a court to appoint someone to take charge of the estate (whether this individual will act as “executor” or simply “administrator,” depends on whether there is a will). Once appointed, this representative must make sure he or she complies with the legal requirements of administering an estate and must know what actions require prior court approval. It is possible to implement plans to avoid probate—which is often a lengthy, stressful process—as part of one’s estate plan.
The probate process in California has many technical requirements that must be fulfilled before a court will appoint a personal representative (an “executor” or “administrator,” depending on whether there is a will) to take charge of the estate. Once appointed, the personal representative must make sure he or she complies with the legal requirements of administering an estate and must know what actions require prior court approval.
Understanding The Trust Administration Process
A properly drafted and “funded” trust (meaning ownership of your assets is transferred to your trust prior to your death) will generally avoid probate. The trust does not need to be filed with the probate court. Nonetheless, there are still steps necessary to administer a trust which must be followed to avoid further legal action.
Nonprofessional or “successor” trustees (meaning those who are not trained as a trustee) often lack the time, resources or knowledge to personally administer the trust, and get into legal trouble as a result. Thus, it is best for nonprofessional trustees to engage legal, accounting and investment professionals for assistance. We can help successor trustees deal with the complexities of administering a trust.
Don’t Wait; Call Today
Please call our office at 805-918-1202 or email us, and we will be happy to schedule a consultation, even if our office did not draft the original trust. We work throughout Ventura County and all of Southern California.