What Does Trust Administration Entail?

in Trust Administration, trust administration, fiduciary services

For many of you, the term Trust Administration may be a new phrase, and therefore, let’s begin by defining what a trust administration is before we dive into the details of what is provided through trust administration and why it is so important to have.

A trust administration is when someone dies and has a will and a trust.

While no one likes to think of their life as having an expiration date, it is extremely important to be prepared for what’s to come and appoint a successor trustee as an individual who will oversee the management of your estate, including the income from it. This person is usually chosen by the grantor of the trust to take on this role because they have experience in handling finances and property issues. This type of individual is often called a "trustee." Trust administration also assures people that their assets are being managed according to the plans created by them before death.

Trust administration would entail distributing assets according to instructions given under trusts that adhere to rules governed by law set up before death. If you need someone with expertise in how your finances should be handled, then perhaps a fiduciary would be most suitable for your needs.

As you begin the process of researching what a trust administration is, why you need one, and how to find the right administrator to meet your needs. It is also important to consider the benefits you would gain by putting advanced thought into your future. These are just a few of the benefits we see with our clients: 

  1. You'll have peace of mind knowing your loved ones are taken care of. 
  2. You'll be able to rest easy knowing everything is in order for the future. 
  3. Your family will be grateful that you took the time to plan ahead.

Because this is such a complex service we wanted to map out the beginning to end steps of a trust administration, so you can understand the process and steps involved. The items listed below are meant to be an outline of the steps involved and educate you on what each step means. We welcome you to sit down with our team so we can go into detail on items as they related to your individual needs.

  • Lodge the Will: California Probate Code Section 8200 requires that the person who has the original Will must turn it into the County Court in California.
  • Notify the Beneficiaries and Heirs: The California Probate Code, Section 16061.7 says that you have to tell the people who are getting the money from a trust, and also those who might inherit it when the person who created it dies. 
  • Re-title Real Property Assets: At this time you will need to change the names of who is listed on the title for any property assets.
  • Administrative Tasks: 
    • Forward Mail. 
    • Notify Social Security of the death. 
    • Notify the Department of Health Care Services. 
    • Notify the Credit Bureaus.
    • Notify Franchise Tax Board.
    • Obtain EIN.
    • Surrender Driver License to DMV.
  • Inventory and Marshal Estate Assets:
    • Create an Inventory of Estate Assets Valued as of Date of Death. 
    • Update title to Financial Accounts, using the Certification of Trust.
    • Real Property 
      • Secure and notify any services companies. Contact insurance agents to update any policies and ensure that the policies are paid up to date and that they provide adequate coverage. 
      • Research property taxes to ensure that they are paid. Obtain a market evaluation of the real property to determine its value as of the date of death.
  • Other assets to manage: 
    • Contact the IRA plan administrator. 
    • Access the safe deposit box, if any, and provide an inventory of the contents. 
    • Transfer title to the vehicles with DMV.
    • Check the California State Controller’s Office website for unclaimed property due to the decedent (www.sco.ca.gov).
  • Identify and settle all debts, including: 
    • Pay and cancel credit cards. 
    • Notify school loan lender(s). 
    • Prepare a list of outstanding debts and any pending lawsuits involving the decedent. 
    • Prepare a list of last illness and memorial expenses. 
    • Prepare tax returns. Please be sure to consult with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). If you do not have a CPA, please contact our office for a referral. 
    • Prepare Accounting and Obtain Beneficiary Approval. 
  • Prepare Distributions: Once we have determined it is the appropriate time, you will write checks for distribution to the beneficiaries based on the terms of the trust.

Planning for the future is one of the most important things you can do. We know that it’s easier said than done, and there are a lot of considerations to make when addressing what will happen after your death. That’s why we offer trust administration services designed specifically for families like yours and have someone appointed to manage these items on your behalf. If you’ve never created one before, it might be time to look into the process so that when the time comes or if you are unable to make decisions for yourself, everything will already be taken care of. 

We encourage all our clients at Advocate Fiduciary Services to sit down with us during the process of preparing their estate planning documents with their attorney, so we can go over items and meet their needs. Our team has years of experience handling these types of matters and would love to get started helping you and your family.


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And schedule a time to meet with our team.

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