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The Duties of Trustees after a Death

If trustees of revocable living trusts fail to observe their various obligations, this can open the door to a petition to be gotten rid of from their position, or worse– individual liability. This post explores a few of rules governing a trustee’s administration of a trust upon the death of the settlor.

Revocable living trusts have turned into one of the most popular testamentary devices in California. There are various reasons that individuals pick to execute trusts, consisting of the avoidance of probate costs, the increase in personal privacy, and the capability for trustees to manage possessions throughout the lifetime of the settlor (the person who initially executed the trust). While trusts do accomplish these and other goals, they do not get rid of the need for a trustee to correctly administer the trust upon the death of the settlor. When the settlor dies, trustees are often in a quandary regarding what their duties consist of. This is not a scenario where one needs to be left in the dark. If trustees stop working to observe their various responsibilities, this can unlock to a petition to be eliminated from their position, or even worse– individual liability.
1. Observation of Various Deadlines

First, successor trustees of living trusts require to be conscious that there are numerous deadlines that require to be observed when administering the trust. In California, the decedent’s will should be “lodged” with the regional probate court within thirty days of the date of death. This holds true even if the decedent had a revocable trust. Beneficiaries and beneficiaries should be notified within 60 days. The notification should adhere to rigorous legal requirements, and any failure in this regard could offer the recipients a prolonged right to challenge the trust. Typically, identifying and locating successors and recipients will be an obstacle. In addition, an application for a company ID, personal and fiduciary income tax return filings, and perhaps estate tax filings must be made within stringent time restrictions. There are numerous other due dates, so please consider this just a list to get you began.
2. Funding the Trust

Second, follower trustees might need to fund the trust, depending upon the existence of a “pourover will” performed by the decedent. Because case, if more than $100,000 of assets are left outside of the trust, and those assets would otherwise pass by probate, a restricted probate procedure might be needed to money the trust. The follower trustee will usually need to develop a different account for the trust with the tax ID number they got. They will also require to invest or maintain the assets in the trust according to the specifications of the trust. If the trust is silent, they will need to follow the guidelines under the Uniform Prudent Financier Act. Typically, trustees work with financial investment professionals to assist properly invest trust assets.
3. Preparing for the Final Accounting

Third, trustees need to keep detailed records of all money in and out of the trust to get ready for a final accounting to beneficiaries. Under the California Probate Code, a last accounting needs to be sent to beneficiaries upon termination of the trust. The trust may choose out of this requirement, but sometimes the trustee might be required, or choose to produce an accounting in any event. This is since the preparation and delivery of an accounting will activate a time duration after which a recipient will no longer have the ability to demand presumably inappropriate trust management. The trustee can keep these records by hand, however can likewise use accounting software application or a 3rd celebration accounting professional.
Keep in mind that trustees have various other duties which, if not followed will open the door to lawsuits. Also, the trust document need to be interpreted to identify whether there are any variances from the Probate Code’s default rules. Following a period of mourning, it’s an excellent idea to then speak with an attorney to determine your specific duties and responsibilities under law.

General Disclosure: This short article is intended to offer general info about trust administration and need to not be trusted as a substitute for legal suggestions from a certified lawyer.

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