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Being a Trustee of a Family Trust
Under California law, a trust is a legal relationship in which one person, a trustee, holds title to a property to benefit another person called the beneficiary.
The trust creator (trustor) is the property owner who creates the arrangement and puts their property in a trust.
In California, the revocable living trust or family trust is a necessary estate planning arrangement.
It is a flexible legal approach that can help avoid the expense, difficulty, and probate risks.
Being a Trustee of a Trust
HESS-VERDON – #1 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TRUST LAWYER
A trust is a revocable trust when the creator or grantor is alive and in control of the Trust. A revocable trust is a flexible instrument. The grantor can add property or assets, remove property or assets, and add or delete beneficiaries. The Trust becomes fixed and irrevocable when the grantor dies or converts the Trust by his or her actions.
The family trust is a simple agreement, and it is a valuable tool for protecting family assets. Grantors, trustees, and successor trustees benefit from initial and ongoing expert legal assistance. Experienced trust attorneys can provide precise language that will carry out the grantor’s intention. Legal counsel can assist at every stage of administration of the family trust.
Learn more about prudent trustee rule.
The California Family Trust
The person that creates the family trust is called the grantor or trustor. In a typical arrangement, the grantor is also the initial trustee. The successor trustee takes charge upon the initial trustee’s death. The beneficiaries are the family members that will receive the assets in the final distribution.
The advantages of the revocable family trust include the below-listed items.
• Trust documents are not recorded in public records
• Trusts protect personal information and transactions
• Family trusts can change to suit the family’s changing needs or goals
The family trust can pass personal assets to family members. This arrangement can protect investments, valuable collections, a family business, a family home, and other valuable assets. While the assets are in the Trust, the owner retains control and can use them for many purposes. Assets in a revocable family trust can support loans, financing, and investments.
What Does a Trustee of a Trust Do?
A trustee is a person or persons holding legal title to trust property. The trustee’s primary role is to manage the trust assets to benefit the persons named as beneficiaries. The trustee may also use the trust assets for legal fees should a beneficiary wants to contest the trust.
The trustee shall accept the grantor’s instructions and follow them.
- A revocable family trust is a trust that exists during the life of the grantor.
- The grantor retains control over the Trust as the initial trustee and possibly beneficiary.
- The grantor can make changes to the revocable family trust at any time during his or her lifetime. Upon the grantor’s death, a revocable family trust becomes irrevocable.
An irrevocable family trust occurs when the grantor surrenders control over the assets and can no longer make changes to the trust agreement. A Trust becomes irrevocable at the grantor’s death, but it can also happen when the grantor surrenders control during life.
What Is the Point of a Family Trust?
A family trust is a method of distributing property, money, and other assets within a family. Family trusts usually include people with significant family relationships, such as parents, children, grandparents, and siblings. When transferring property through an estate by inheritance, the process can involve probate. Probate is an expensive process, and there is no certainty as to the outcome.
While the grantor controls the Trust, he or she may use the assets for any purpose. The family trust can change to react to changes in the family or adjust as the grantor wishes. After the grantor’s death, the Trust becomes irrevocable, and the assets may have protection from lawsuits and creditors.
What is the point of a family trust?
The answer is to avoid probate. Probate has risks because a court will review and determine the validity of the distribution. A family trust can remove doubts about fulfilling the grantor’s wishes.
Some of the advantages of family trusts include the below-described benefits.
• Providing funds for a family member needing extensive medical care
• Including specific provisions on the receipt of assets by beneficiaries such as obtaining a certain age or getting a college degree
• Protecting assets from creditors and lawsuits
What Does It Mean to Be a Trustee of a Family Trust?
The trustee of a family trust is the legal owner of the trust assets. The beneficiaries are those that will receive the assets upon distribution. They are the equitable owners of the property until distribution. As the legal owner, the trustee can perform a wide range of functions, including selling assets, investing assets, and distributing assets to the beneficiaries.
Family trust trustees have duties under California law, and they can have personal liability for specific bad outcomes. They have duties of loyalty to the Trust and the beneficiaries. Trustees should always act in the best interest of the beneficiaries.
When considering a trustee position, you should ask what does it mean to be a trustee of a family trust? The trustee needs to carry out the instructions in the Trust. He or she shall also obey California law and the duties it imposes on trustees. Trustees can face difficult choices. For example, the law requires trustees to act impartially towards all beneficiaries. What does a trustee of a trust do when the beneficiaries have conflicting interests? Expert legal assistance can help manage this and similar situations that can arise.
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- Can a Trustee sue on behalf of the trust
- Can a Trustee be held personally liable
- Can a Trustee remove a Beneficiary from a trust
- Settling a Trust After Death
- Being a Trustee of a Trust
Request a Case Review Today Call us at 949-706-7300Step-up Basis at Death for Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts A step-up in basis refers to the appraisal of appreciated assets' value in a trust to inform taxation upon inheritance. Usually, what is considered...
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