Trust Administration refers to the management and distribution of trust
property by a legally designated person, usually referred to as a trustee.
This is to be done in the best interests of the beneficiaries of the trust
estate and in accordance with the trustor’s wishes. When property,
especially but not exclusively real estate, is to be transferred from
a deceased loved one’s trust to his or her beneficiaries, the property
must be temporarily put under the control of a successor trustee before
being distributed according to trust guidelines. As long as the trust
is not successfully contested, the successor trustee has all the powers
given to him or her by that trust.
California state law puts trustees under obligation to perform certain
duties and bar them from taking any actions not deemed in the best interests
of the trust. A line of successor trustees are designated in the trust.
They are only given the power to act if the first-named trustee or trustees
either pass away or become incapacitated.
Trustees are expected to administer the property under their care in accordance
with the trust and in conformity to state law. They must properly notify
all beneficiaries and are obligated to manage the trust estate in a financially
responsive manner. They must also avoid creating any conflict of interest
or benefiting in any way from their position as temporary property holder.
They must also pay the taxes on the property, settle all relevant debts,
and keep detailed financial records. If they violate the terms of the
trust or any of their duties as a trustee, their acts could be declared
non-binding and can be removed by the beneficiaries. Additionally, beneficiaries
also have the right to request and receive from the trustee, a properly
constructed financial disclosure statement.
Given the complexity of California law regarding trust administration,
it is advisable to get expert legal advice to guide you through the process.
Located in Irvine, California, and serving all areas in and around Orange
County, Mortensen & Reinheimer, PC is a leading name in estate planning.
They can assist you in fulfilling the duties assigned to you as a trustee
and make sure that you are in accordance with the law. To learn more or
to schedule a free consultation, call Mortensen & Reinheimer, PC at
714-384-6053, or fill out the
online request form.