When you lose a family member, it is good idea to consult with a probate attorney who can explain the legal process that occurs. Trust Administration and Probate services are an important part of that process. Our firm is here to provide quality Trust Administration and Probate services designed to meet each client’s specific needs and goals. We can make what may seem to be daunting tasks, much easier.
Trust Administration involves many duties, including filing and paying estate taxes in accordance with Federal tax laws, notifying creditors, paying debts, and providing an accounting to beneficiaries. The main duty of the trustee is to oversee this process and make sure the assets are distributed according to the terms of the trust. Because the trustee is placed in a high level of confidence, being designated as such is typically considered an honor.
Trust Administration Duties
The duties of each trustee depends on the instructions and the complexity of the Trust itself. However, every trust will require the filing and payment of annual taxes, ensuring the trust has a sustainable source of income through sensible investments, and keeping an accurate accounting of all expenditures and income.
Trust Administration Assistance
Not everyone is proficient in financial matters and many find the concepts of trust administration difficult to understand. Even with some proficiency, administering a trust is not always easy and usually requires the assistance of a professional, such as an Estate Planning Attorney. Trust Administration is a year round responsibility, so recruiting the assistance of an attorney and a financial expert is highly recommended.
If you have been chosen to serve as executor of a loved one’s estate, you may not know where to begin. Managing an estate in Probate requires an understanding of complex legal procedures. However, help is available from an estate planning attorney, who can assist you in understanding your responsibilities and explaining the steps you need to take.
What is Probate?
When a person dies, their assets, property, taxes and debts must all be accounted for and settled in a legal process known as probate. The process generally includes proving the validity of the will, if there is one; identifying and creating an inventory of the deceased’s property; having the property appraised, paying debts and taxes and distributing the remaining property according to either the will, or the laws of intestacy for your state.
Not all property is required to go through probate. In California, you can pass up to $100,000 of property without going through the probate process, and there is a much simpler transfer procedure for property left to a surviving spouse. Also, property that passes through joint tenancy or a living trust, for example, is not subject to probate.