Attorney Orange County
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 unique concerns of our clients.
The loss of a loved one is a traumatic event. During this time, we understand that making financial and legal decisions while grieving is complicated and stressful. We make the process of probate and trust administration as comfortable and pain-free as possible.
Trust Administration Law Firm
HESS-VERDON IS YOUR #1 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TRUST & ESTATE LAW FIRM
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Trust Administration Services Needed by Trustees and Beneficiaries
Are you the Trust trustee? If so, 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 Trust 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 once a person dies, the trust becomes irrevocable.” Your objective as a Trustee is to stay out of “trust litigation.” It is our recommendation to find an attorney to assist you in protecting 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 CPAs, 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 probate, which can take nine months to 2+ years, organized trusts 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
- Information regarding the trustee’s duties to inform the beneficiaries
- Handling disputes among beneficiaries or between heirs and the executor or TrusteeTrustee to avoid Trust Litigation or Probate Litigation
- Preparation of notices and forms required by law to be sent by the TrusteeTrustee to all beneficiaries or heirs at law
- Advice about the requirements 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
- Summary 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.
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 is just a partial checklist to consider to execute a trust:
- Notice to all beneficiaries and the settlors’ heirs.
- Get a death certificate. Collect 10-12 copies of the death certificate.
- Contact Social Security Administration. (you might need to return the last Social Security payment?)
- Website: https://www.ssa.gov/
- Phone number: You can call toll-free at 1-800-772-1213
- Office locations: https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp
Is there real property? If so, bestow title in the successor trustee. Handling property’s in the wishes of the settlor is mandatory. (Note: May have to determine the 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 name as the successor trustee.
- 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 if there are tax issues, your estate planning attorney, and CPA’s work together to reduce complications. File tax returns!
- May need to consider:
- Federal estate tax return (706)
- Income tax return (1041)
- 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 the distribution of the trust assets.
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