Hess-Verdon & Associates PLC

How long can Trust remain open after death?

Our Orange County trust litigation lawyers focus on helping trustees, beneficiary, and heirs in the event there is a trust contest. Our Orange County Law firm focuses primarily on trust and estates disputes based upon undue duress, embezzlement, breach of fiduciary duty, and other estate litigation matters.

Probate Topics, Probate Litigation 

Tips A BENEFICIARY SHOULD KNOW TODAY!

Tips A TRUSTOR SHOULD CONSIDER

How Long Can a Trust Remain Open After Death

HESS-VERDON IS YOUR #1 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TRUST & ESTATE LAW FIRM

(DEEP BENCH COURT TIME)

How Long Can a Trust Remain Open After Death

When a trustor dies, i.e., Grantor, settlor, trustmaker, there is time allotted for the Successor Trustee to get all funeral arrangements, death certificates, and so forth in the order. The time range is not fixed but can range within 30 days, for example. After finalizing any arrangements the decedent had proposed in the Trust, then all accounts and assets are accounted for to mitigate any breach of fiduciary duties.  

So, to get a complete-time overview, you can break down the time into various time segments, and each section can vary in time due to their complications. One complication can be the sale of a home or many homes and a company, for example. Attaining appraisals, adding the property to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), etc., take time, which includes finding an approved buyer, etc.

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Trust After Death

Within the total time, which can typically be from 12 months to 18 months, there are deadlines that the Trustee, as well as the beneficiaries, need to be aware of, as consequences can arise based on missing due dates. Here are just a few deadlines to consider if you are a Trustee and Beneficiary:

  1. Prepare an inventory of the estate, which includes all assets as well as liabilities
  2. Get a Trust Identification Number
  3. Send out a notice to all beneficiaries and potential heirs—probate code Section 16061.7. 
  4. The beneficiary has a right to receive a copy of the Trust.
  5. Once Beneficiaries receive Notice, they have a period to challenge the Trust. (Challenge a Trust within 120 days of Notice)

Just at this point, which doesn’t include paying any prior taxes, debts, selling of property if applicable is at 120 days from Notice or 60 days, you receive a copy of the Trust. A Trustee would not look to release any distributions before 120 days as a beneficiary can contest (challenge) the terms of the Trust.

Living Trust Distribution Time Limit

A Living Trust (Revocable Trust) is not distributed until the Trustor dies, then a Successor Trustee takes over the estate per the Settlor’s wishes and completes the distribution process. With that said, distributions must be made within a “reasonable” time. Transparency is key to mitigation conflicts between Trustees and Beneficiaries. To continue, Trustees can, and should, make preliminary distributions to the beneficiaries before the final distribution but retain X amount in reserves.

How Long Does It Take to Settle an Estate With a Trust

When it comes to distributions timeframes in California, there is not an exact line drawn in the sand for Trust distributions. There is not an exact timeframe mentioned in the statutes. The overwhelming theme, however, is full transparency and keeping the beneficiaries reasonably up-to-date. The objective of the Trust document is to eliminate any disputes, voiding, invalidating of the Trust. And Yes, a Beneficiary contests the Trust on the grounds of undue influence, illegal acts like forgery, etc.  

 

Living Trust Distribution Time Limit

 A Living Trust (Revocable Trust) is not distributed until the Trustor dies, then a Successor Trustee takes over the estate per the Settlor’s wishes and completes the distribution process. With that said, distributions must be made within a “reasonable” time. Transparency is key to mitigation conflicts between Trustees and Beneficiaries. To continue, Trustees can, and should, make preliminary distributions to the beneficiaries before the final distribution but retain X amount in reserves.

How Long Does It Take to Settle an Estate With a Trust

When it comes to distributions timeframes in California, there is not an exact line drawn in the sand for Trust distributions. There is not an exact timeframe mentioned in the statutes. The overwhelming theme, however, is full transparency and keeping the beneficiaries reasonably up-to-date. The objective of the Trust document is to eliminate any disputes, voiding, invalidating of the Trust. And Yes, a Beneficiary contests the Trust on the grounds of undue influence, illegal acts like forgery, etc.  

Can I sue the Trustee of a Trust?

If you are an heir or a Beneficiary, and you feel there has been a mishandling of the trust assets, it’s imperative to seek legal counsel.

Now, as a beneficiary, you have to be reasonable for allowing the Trustee to meet timeframes, etc.

For example: Within 60 days after taking the responsibility of the Trust, the Trustee shall give notice to the qualified beneficiaries of the acceptance and their full name and address of the Trustee. 

Within 60 days once the Trustee requires knowledge of the creation of the irrevocable Trust, whether they learned it by the death of the settlor or any other means, the Trustee shall give notice of the identity of the settlor, a right to request a copy of the trust instrument, and the right to an accounting. 

Now, if the Trustee feels they have been reasonable and have been meeting the objectives of the Trustee, you will need to go to court to prove the breach of fiduciary duty.

How to Request an accounting of an estate

If you believe the Trustee of the family trust has mismanaged funds, assets, etc., you will need to consult an estate planning attorney who focuses primarily on trust and estate litigation.  

Here are some questions that a Hess-Verdon Attorney will ask you:

Do you have a copy of the Trust? Was it received within the last six months?

Have you requested bank records, asset valuations? Is everything written and dated?

Are there any in Terrorem clauses?

When was the Trust created?

Was there theft from the estate before inventory?

Was the grantor in the right mind when creating a Trust? Was there dementia when the Trust was created?

Are you receiving updates from the Trustee?

What makes you think there is Misappropriation of Trust funds?

The above questions are just a few questions a Hess-Verdon attorney will ask. You can take advantage of the current No Obligation, Free Consultation case review. Within an hour, you will know if you have any grounds to stand on.

Now, we understand this is a trying time, especially that the grantor has just passed away and including fraudulent acts for favoring the Trustee and not the beneficiaries.

How to Request an accounting of an estate

If you believe the Trustee of the family trust has mismanaged funds, assets, etc., you will need to consult an estate planning attorney who focuses primarily on trust and estate litigation.  

Here are some questions that a Hess-Verdon Attorney will ask you:

Do you have a copy of the Trust? Was it received within the last six months?

Have you requested bank records, asset valuations? Is everything written and dated?

Are there any in Terrorem clauses?

When was the Trust created?

Was there theft from the estate before inventory?

Was the grantor in the right mind when creating a Trust? Was there dementia when the Trust was created?

Are you receiving updates from the Trustee?

What makes you think there is Misappropriation of Trust funds?

The above questions are just a few questions a Hess-Verdon attorney will ask. You can take advantage of the current No Obligation, Free Consultation case review. Within an hour, you will know if you have any grounds to stand on.

Now, we understand this is a trying time, especially that the grantor has just passed away and including fraudulent acts for favoring the Trustee and not the beneficiaries.

How long does it take to get an inheritance?

What if the Beneficiary has been waiting for more than 18 months?

If you are the Beneficiary, hopefully, you have been in the loop of the current standings. If not, then, you will need to start by gathering information like the following:

  1. Copy of the Trust
  2. Banking information
  3. Asset updates

A good practice at this point, i.e., 18 months waiting, is to meet with an estate planning lawyer who dedicates themselves in trust litigation. You see, if in fact, you are 18 months, and have No knowledge of breach has occurred, then you are simply in a waiting game. If, however, you have seen warning signs of misappropriation of trust funds, or lack of transparency, you may need to seek counsel. Take away: Make sure you have already created a dialogue with the Trustee to show the courts you have been “reasonable” in your approach, and now it’s time for full transparency. 

How long does it take to get an inheritance?

What if the Beneficiary has been waiting for more than 18 months?

If you are the Beneficiary, hopefully, you have been in the loop of the current standings. If not, then, you will need to start by gathering information like the following:

  1. Copy of the Trust
  2. Banking information
  3. Asset updates

A good practice at this point, i.e., 18 months waiting, is to meet with an estate planning lawyer who dedicates themselves in trust litigation. You see, if in fact, you are 18 months, and have No knowledge of breach has occurred, then you are simply in a waiting game. If, however, you have seen warning signs of misappropriation of trust funds, or lack of transparency, you may need to seek counsel. Take away: Make sure you have already created a dialogue with the Trustee to show the courts you have been “reasonable” in your approach, and now it’s time for full transparency. 

How Long Does It Take to Get a Settlement

 The Trustee has a reasonable period to complete the settling of the Trust. The question is, what is “reasonable”? As long as the Trustee has been effective in keeping the beneficiaries up-to-date, stating the facts taking place with the assets, etc., the court will work with the Trustee should contesting the Trust occur. But the courts will look to a few factors to ensure the Trust is closed within a reasonable timeframe based on a few factors such as:

  • All contingencies to distribution have been met.
  • All debts and taxes have been paid.
  • All Assets have been collected and in condition for distribution

The main objective for the Trustee is to make sure to distribute assets without leaving no stone unturned. If, after distribution, the Trustee finds out there is another tax or debt that was not paid, it would have to come from their pocket. Now, if an estate tax return is required, situations like that can last three years or more.  

What can I do if it’s taking too long to receive my distribution?

As a beneficiary, you will want to make sure you have complied with your timetables and keep abreast of Trustee updates. If the Trustee is not transparent about their actions, find an expert Trust Litigation Attorney who specializes in your situation “before” alerting the Trustee. Remember, you need to look “reasonable” to the courts and not merely be anxious to receive your distribution. In many cases, there is a provision called a “no-contest clause,” or another name is a in terrorem clause that states if you contest the Trust and you lose your case, you will receive 0.00 of your inheritance. Therefore, contact an estate planning attorney to understand what remaining steps are needed and timeframes to complete.

How Long Can a Trust Remain Open After Death

When a Trustor dies, i.e., Grantor, Settlor, Trustmaker, there is time allotted for the Successor Trustee to get all funeral arrangements, death certificates, and so forth in the order. The time range is not fixed on how long a trust can remain open after death but can range within 3 months to 18 months typically. After finalizing any arrangements the decedent had proposed in the Trust, then all accounts and assets are accounted for to mitigate any breach of fiduciary duties.  

How Long Can a Trust Remain Open After Death

How Long Can a Trust Remain Open After Death

When a Trustor dies, i.e., Grantor, Settlor, Trustmaker, there is time allotted for the Successor Trustee to get all funeral arrangements, death certificates, and so forth in the order. The time range is not fixed on how long a trust can remain open after death but can range within 3 months to 18 months typically. After finalizing any arrangements the decedent had proposed in the Trust, then all accounts and assets are accounted for to mitigate any breach of fiduciary duties.  

Trustee & Co-Trustee Not Getting Along

NEED A SECOND OPINION?

Hess-Verdon is ready to help you today.

Contesting a Trust in California

California Business Litigation

Get Answers and Guidance

Hess-Verdon & Associates
A PROFESSIONAL LAW CORPORATION
1-888-318-4430

stars 5 How Long Can a Trust Remain Open After Death and Options!

“Absolutely top notch firm for handling all your estate planning matters.”

Dean Williams

Client Since 1995

stars 5 How Long Can a Trust Remain Open After Death and Options!

“Definitely a firm that will “fight to the finish.”

Frances Gruben

Client Since 2010

stars 5 How Long Can a Trust Remain Open After Death and Options!

“I have been working with this firm since 1994; you can’t beat a firm like this, that is so ethical and competent.”

Dixie Fisher

Client Since 1994

Hess-Verdon & Associates PLC

Call 1-888-318-430 or Contact Us Below

If you are contacting us during normal business hours, expect to hear back from us on the same day.  If you are contacting us after normal business hours, we will reach out to you the next business day.