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Trust Administration

Choosing The Right Advisor Could Save Millions

Trust administration involves overseeing the assets within a trust. In cases where applicable, both the successor trustee and the co-trustee bear the responsibility of managing the trust and upholding their fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries. It is the trustee’s obligation to safeguard trust assets and adhere to the directives outlined in the trust document. The specific duties of the trustee are determined by the nature of the trust.

Key Points About Trust Administration:

1. Document Compilation:

This involves gathering essential documents such as the Will, Living Trust document, amendments, copies of deeds, original birth certificates, and various financial account information of the deceased.

2. Beneficiary and Heir Information:

The attorney compiles information on beneficiaries, including their names, addresses, and other relevant details.

3. Coordination with Accountant:

Maintaining communication with the estate tax accountant is a key responsibility, ensuring effective collaboration on financial matters.

How We Help

A trust is established by a settlor (or trustor) with the purpose of managing assets in a streamlined and confidential manner for the benefit of designated individuals, known as beneficiaries. The settlor places property into the trust, and the trustee assumes the responsibility of managing it. The trustee’s role involves executing the settlor’s directives for the welfare of the beneficiaries, a task that entails several fundamental steps. We can help, by:


Gathering essential documents

Providing notice to beneficiaries

Identifying and valuing assets

Identifying debts

Responsibly investing trust assets

Obtaining titles

Filing appropriate tax documents

Maintaining proper trust accounting

Distributing trust assets

Delegating duties as necessary

Dissolving the trust


Richard Cornell's main focus is in Trust Administration and excels at helping you through the entire process.

Legal Protection

Hiring a skilled lawyer can ensure the rules and guidelines set by the law are followed to avoid costly mistakes.


Trust Administration is a complex process, which is why Richard Cornell's meticulous attention to detail is crucial in a lawyer.

Trust Administration FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Trust Administration

What is a Trust Administration?

When a Trustor dies, California mandates specific actions for the Trustee of the Trust. The nature and extent of these actions hinge on whether the Trust becomes irrevocable at the Trustor’s death or if the Trust outlines explicit steps for the Trustee. We strongly advise that, following the death of a Trustor, the Trustee promptly arrange a meeting with an attorney within the initial month. This consultation is crucial for understanding the legal obligations arising from the death and determining the necessary steps the Trustee must undertake.

What is the role of a Trustee?

The Trustee assumes the role of managing the Trust. In the case of a Living Trust drafted by our office, the Successor Trustee list is typically located in Article Three, Section 4. The Trustee is bound by a fiduciary duty to adhere to the terms of the Trust and act in the best interests of the Trust beneficiaries. Alongside these responsibilities, the Trustee carries additional duties that necessitate thorough discussion with an attorney to ensure a comprehensive understanding of their tasks and timelines. It is important to note that in Trust Administration, our office exclusively represents the Trustee and not the beneficiaries.

How many death certificates do we need?

As a standard practice, it is advisable to obtain a death certificate for each real property owned by the deceased individual, with a few additional copies for handling matters such as life insurance, retirement accounts, and bank accounts. Typically, financial institutions do not retain the death certificate but may request to see it for verification purposes. In the case of non-local or online-only institutions, there might be a requirement to send the original death certificate through mail.

What assets pass through the court death probate?

Assets of the deceased individual, exceeding $184,500 in value, are subject to specific conditions: they must not be titled under a Living Trust, lack a designated beneficiary, or lack a surviving joint owner.

What if the assets outside of the Trust are worth less than $184,500?

In such cases, a small estate affidavit might be necessary, and it’s common for various banks to provide their own required forms. However, we strongly advise seeking the assistance of an attorney, as there are specific legal criteria that must be met to properly utilize a small estate affidavit.

Is there a time limit after a death within which a trust administration must take place?

Certain tax decisions are mandated by law to be addressed within nine (9) months of the decedent’s death, while other tasks in trust administration should be carried out within a “reasonable” timeframe. To ascertain the specific actions the Trustee must undertake and the corresponding timelines, we strongly advise the Trustee to schedule a meeting with an attorney.

Let us help you!

If you need any help, please feel free to contact us. If you need immediate assistance, you can call us now.

Call : 760.753.0088

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