#1 Best Trust Administration Attorney Orange County, CA | Hess-Verdon 1

Serving State: California, Southern California

Serving Counties: Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside & San Bernardino County, San Diego County

Serving cities: Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, Newport Coast, Corona Del Mar, Santa Ana, Anaheim, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Buena Park, Fullerton, Orange, Lake Forest, Laguna Hills, Garden Grove, Tustin, Yorba Linda, Fountain Valley, Westminster, Dana Point, Rancho Santa Margarita, North Tustin, Seal Beach, Los Alamitos, Villa Park, Ladera Ranch, Placentia, Laguna Woods, Aliso Viejo, Coto De Caza, State of California

Trust Administration Attorney in Orange County, CA.

Are you searching for a Trust Administration attorney in Orange County, California? Our firm, Hess-Verdon & Associates works with executors, trustees, personal representatives, and other fiduciaries in all aspects of estate administration. We are committed to the delivery of probate and trust administration services with a sensitivity to the special concerns of our clients.

 The loss of a loved one is a traumatic event. Making financial and legal decisions while grieving is extremely difficult and stressful. We make the process of probate and trust administration as easy and pain free as possible.

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Trust Adminstration Services Needed by Trustees and/or Beneficiearies

If you are designated as the trustee, there are many steps to ensure you stay within your fiduciary duties. We have made this page to assist you throughout the process and feel free to call us and speak with one of our expert trust administration lawyers. 

With that said, let’s get started.

As the trustee, you will have “fiduciary responsibility” or what is called your “ethical obligation” to the beneficiaries of the will or trust, meaning you are to follow the directives of trust document’s terms for the benefit of both “settlor” and “beneficiaries”.

Now the trust is what it called a “revocable trust”, but once the trustor dies, it becomes “irrevocable”. Your objective as a Trustee is to stay out of “litigation”.  It is our recommendations to find and attorney to assist you to protect an effective trust administration process.  

Why should I use an estate planning attorney to assist me in trust administration?

There are many moving parts to the trust administration process.   From speaking to CPA’s, IRS, tax advisors, investment advisors, etc., is quite a task and there are deadlines and expectations from the beneficiaries.  If you exceed your Trustee powers, you may be held liable for loss or damages to the trust estate.

How much time does it take to complete the trust administration process?

Unlike a probate, which can take 12 months to 2+ years, an organized trust administration process falls between two to six months typically.  Now, if there is a sub-trust to manage monetary gifts to minor children, etc.. It may continue.

Why work with Hess-Verdon & Associates?

Here at Hess-Verdon & Associates, we will give:

  • Advice regarding the terms of the Trust or a Will
  • Advice regarding the trustee’s duties to inform the beneficiaries
  • Handling disputes among beneficiaries or between beneficiaries and the executor or trustee to avoid Trust or Probate Litigation
  • Preparation of notices and forms required by law to be sent by the Trustee to all beneficiaries or heirs at law
  • Advice about the laws related to the investments allowed in a Trust
  • Understanding the rules regarding selling assets, paying taxes and when you can make distributions to some or all of the beneficiaries
  • Guide you through the Income tax planning for the estate
  • Preparation and filing of all necessary Probate Court filings
  • Representation of clients in all Probate and Civil Court proceedings
  • Postmortem planning, including effective use of tax elections and disclaimers
  • Postmortem planning for non-U.S. citizen spouses
  • Review of all federal and estate tax returns
  • Review of all federal and state fiduciary income tax returns

We will work with your successor to complete the process as quickly as possible, while minimizing family disharmony.

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About Hess-Verdon & Associates: Our firm tailors each trust to address the unique situation and circumstances of each client.

Where are you in the administration process?

Have you just received notice of the death of the settlor/trustor?  If so, don’t feel pressured.  There is an expected time frame for getting the death certificate, etc., but our recommendation is to have legal counsel straight away.  Here are just a partial checklist to consider to execute a trust:

  1. Notice to all beneficiaries and the settlors’ heirs.
  2. Get death certificate. 10-12 copies of the death certificate.
  3.  Contact Social Security Administration. (you might need to return the last Social Security payment?)
  1. Website: https://www.ssa.gov/
  2. Phone number: You can call toll-free at 1-800-772-1213
  3. Office locations: https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp
  • Real Property?  If so, bestow title in the successor trustee.  This is to ensure the properties will be handled in the wishes of the settlor. (May have to determine fair market value of each asset)
  • Record an affidavit with a certified copy of the death certificate against each property held in the living trust.
  • Ascertain all other trust assets, like bank accounts, 401K, investment accounts, and transfer the title of those assets in the trustee’s name as the successor trustee.
    1. May need to keep the accounts open for 3-6 months to view all incoming and outgoing.
  • Acquire the trust’s federal tax identification number. 
  • Determine the settlor’s debts and satisfy their liabilities.  Tax implications can arise.  This is where your estate planning attorney and CPA’s work together to reduce complications. Ensure tax returns are filed!
    1. May need to consider:
    1. Federal estate tax return (706)
    2. Income tax return (1041)
    3. Fiduciary tax return
  • Keep a detailed accounting of all transactions like deposits and distributions from the trust, etc.
  • Work with your estate planning attorney on distribution of the trust assets.
  • Contact Our Estate Planning Attorney Firm Today



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    Will Always be Treated Courteously


    We Make the Process Easy


    Providing Personal Service


    Committment to Delivering High Quality


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    Meet Jillyn Hess-Verdon - Managing Partner

    Mrs. Verdon’s commitment to the highest level of legal expertise and knowledge while providing personal service to her clients has caused the firm to grow into one of Southern California’s leading law firms.

    Trust Administration Attorney

    We look forward to assisting you!

    Hess-Verdon & Associates, A Professional Law Corp. is a full-service law firm, established in 1990. The firms founding principles, and its dedication to a proven philosophy of client-centered service has remained unchanged.

    Experienced Legal Counsel

    Our firm tailors each trust to address the unique situation and circumstances of each client. There are many issues addressed when planning your Trust and Estate, and especially if you have beneficiaries with disabilities who should be provided for through a Special Needs Trust.

    This information is provided as a legal advisory and does not provide any specific legal advice to any individual case.

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    Delivering high quality, client focused service

    Hess-Verdon & Associates, PLC

    A Professional Law Corporation