Granite Bay Trust Administration

Granite Bay’s Experienced Estates and Trust Administration Lawyer

Our Popular Practice Areas:

Estates Administration
Probate
Trust Administration
Incapacity

Granite Bay Trust Administration Attorneys

When an individual passes away, handling trust administration details can be a difficult undertaking for the person’s loved ones, as they are struggling with grief. This process involves specific details that must be handled with care to ensure that the terms of the trust are carried out as the decedent intended them to be. In many cases, it is prudent to have a Granite Bay trust administration attorney on your side to ensure that the trust is handled properly.

If an individual is appointed as a trustee of a testamentary trust or one that is created by a will or a living trust, they must perform the duties involved to the utmost honesty and loyalty standards to ensure the benefits guaranteed to the trust’s beneficiaries. This trustee will need to keep very detailed records and be ready to furnish accountancy of the trust to its beneficiaries at all times. This is necessary because a beneficiary may object to the trustee’s actions. In this scenario, a court will decide whether the trustee fulfilled their duties to the required standard. If it is determined that they did not, the trustee may be surcharged, which means that they will need to pay the beneficiary for the loss out of their own pocket. Granite Bay trust administration attorneys can guide trustees through their duties in administering a trust and can help them prepare accountancy, advise them of specific duties, and represent them in court.

A California Lawyer for Trust Administration You Can Trust

If you are involved in the trust administration process, you need an attorney who understands both federal tax laws and the requirements in California. Our team at McCunn Law has the resources to ensure all stages of the process are handled properly. Find out more about our trust administration and estate planning services by contacting our firm online or calling (916) 773-6100 today.

Call (916) 773-6100

What Is a Trust and How Does it Work?

Trusts are legal arrangements set up to ensure that an individual’s assets eventually get passed to certain beneficiaries. The person who creates a trust puts the assets they wish to pass on in the name of the trust, and they charge a third party with administering the assets for the creator of the trust and the beneficiaries.

Put simply, a trust works through three key individuals or entities, which include the following:

  • The trustee. This is the person or organization who is responsible for administering the trust.
  • The beneficiary or beneficiaries. This may include a single person, several individuals, or charitable organizations that eventually receive all or some of the assets placed in the trust.
  • The grantor. This is the individual who creates the trust and places the assets in it.

The primary reason for creating a trust is for the transfer of assets from one individual to another. These trusts may hold various types of assets. Some examples include cars, homes, and investment accounts.

Individuals often choose to place their assets in a trust to avoid having their assets and their heirs go through probate when they pass away. Probate refers to the part of the court system that is responsible for deciding whether a will is valid and then distributing the assets according to the will or according to state laws if there is no will. This process can be a lengthy one, taking several months, and much of the information involved is public record.

What Are Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts?

Revocable trusts are also called living trusts. They get this name because the grantor can change the assets and beneficiaries as long as they are alive and mentally and physically able to do so. With these trusts, the individual can name themself as a trustee and name a successor trustee or co-trustee. This is beneficial if the individual is diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition, as it allows the individual to get their affairs in order before they are unable to do so and then pass the responsibility of managing the trust over to the successor.

An irrevocable trust differs in that the individual can’t change their mind. Once the assets are placed in the trust and the beneficiary is named, it is fixed permanently.

What Are the Advantages of Having a Trust?

Individuals may decide to create a trust for a multitude of reasons. Some of the advantages they typically find most appealing include the following:

  • Potential savings on taxes. There are some types of trusts that can lower an individual’s estate taxes.
  • Time. The probate process is often long and arduous, so having a trust set up can avoid the need for your assets to go through probate, and therefore get them to your heirs sooner.
  • Privacy. Because the assets placed into trusts are not required to go through probate, they are not made a part of public record. This is important to some individuals if they are making distributions that they don’t want to be public or if they are disinheriting someone. Keeping the distribution hidden in this case can avoid unnecessary drama.
  • Control. With a trust, you can specify the terms you intend. This means that you can be strategic when protecting assets after a divorce, for instance, or if you want to control when your children receive monetary assets. It may also give you a degree of control over the way individuals spend the money you leave to them.

What Are the Duties of Trust Administration?

When a person is tasked with trust administration, they are given two sets of duties. The first includes the duties imposed by the terms of the trust, and the second is a set of default responsibilities, called fiduciary duties under trust law. The fiduciary duties that a trustee must carry out include the following.

  • Furnishing pertinent information to beneficiaries of the trust. A trustee must provide detailed information to beneficiaries at times, whether they request it or not. This information may include the existence of the trust, the individuals’ status as beneficiaries, and any significant developments or changes to the trust.
  • Identifying and segregating trust property. The trustee must keep trust property completely separate from their own property.
  • Keeping immaculate records and furnishing reports. The trustee must keep specific records and provide reports to the beneficiaries, as ordered by the courts and dictated by the trust instrument.
  • Being impartial. A trustee is required to administer the trust impartially, showing no favoritism to a group of beneficiaries or any individuals over others, whether in investments, disbursements, or otherwise.
  • Being loyal. The trustee must be committed to acting solely in the interests of the trust’s charitable purpose or its beneficiaries. A trustee is prohibited from ever engaging in self-dealing or getting involved with a conflict of interest. The trustee must always deal fairly with the trust’s beneficiaries and always communicate all material facts to them.
  • Being prudent. When a trustee administers a trust, they must act as a prudent individual regarding the circumstances, terms, and purposes of the trust.

Typically, a trustee in Granite Bay has two sets of powers, including those that the trust agreement grants them and those granted by California. If a trustee acts outside of the powers they are granted or violates their duties, consequences will ensue. The Granite Bay trust administration attorneys at McCunn Law can help a trustee avoid these consequences by navigating their responsibilities and executing their duties. We can also represent the trustee in court if it becomes necessary.

What Are the Duties Involved With Administering a Trust?

If you are charged with administering a trust, it is nothing to take lightly. In some cases, the trust is simple, and you may only have to transfer the title of a deceased trustor’s assets to the beneficiaries of the trust. In this case, you may be able to complete your duties quickly. However, overseeing the preparation and filing of related taxes in California may lead to great increases in property taxes for children and grandchildren. It is also necessary to provide notices to all beneficiaries of a trust, and they must include very specific language mandated by California statute.

However, the role of a trustee becomes much more complicated when there are provisions for continuing administration for ongoing generations, charities, and minors. If this is the circumstance you find yourself in, you are responsible financially and must invest the trust’s assets and monies well. You must also distribute the money fairly, as you look out for all beneficiaries’ best interests. This may include the following:

  • A beneficiary may be a nonprofit organization that truly needs the assets or funds you are handling.
  • A disabled individual’s future physical and financial comfort may be in your hands, or you may be dealing with an adult who is healthy but fiscally irresponsible.
  • You may be responsible for the future solvency of children who are now minors.

A trustee is in a position that doesn’t allow for mistakes. There is often a great deal of paperwork and financial management involved with the responsibilities. Any mistake you make could lead to legal action being taken against you due to your errors. Whenever a beneficiary of the trust believes at any time that you have acted improperly, you may be faced with defending yourself against legal actions. For this reason, it is crucial to have a Granite Bay trust administration lawyer on your side.

What Are the Specific Responsibilities Involved With Administering a Trust?

As a trustee, you are designated as the individual who will administer the trust, but what exactly does that mean? A trust agreement document is typically in place to detail your responsibilities. Often, the things you will see in this trust agreement include the following:

  • If any beneficiaries are incapacitated, the issue of their care may be included. This may also involve language regarding abuse.
  • If any of the beneficiaries of the trust is elderly, any type of elder abuse may be addressed in the trust.
  • The trust may be a conservatorship that will need to be dealt with as you administer the trust.
  • It is not necessary for you to be well-versed in the details of every responsibility with which you are charged. In some cases, it may be necessary for you to delegate some of your responsibilities to other agents who can help you administer the trust effectively. You must, however, oversee these agents. Some of the responsibilities you may delegate include legal responsibilities, tax management, accounting, and financial investments.
  • The trust may involve assets set to remain in a trust fund for years and provide future generations out of the investments it holds. In this case, you will be assuming an ongoing role.
  • As a trustee, you may have to deal with creditors and individuals who claim to be creditors, who file claims against the trust you are administering for the payment of debts that the decedent left outstanding.
  • As a trustee of a trust, you will not be supervised by the courts, and you will not be required to report to a court of any kind. This is where trust administration differs from probate administration. However, in some cases, you may need to turn to the courts to seek assistance if anyone chooses to file disputes against the trust. You will also be responsible for furnishing the beneficiaries with an accounting of the trust within the first year after the trustor’s death and every two years after that.

The Granite Bay trust administration attorneys at McCunn Law can assist you with any difficulty you encounter as you face the responsibilities of being a trustee.

Why Hire a Granite Bay Trust Administration Attorney?

Trusts are beneficial in many ways, but choosing a trustee to oversee your trust after you are gone is something you don’t want to take lightly. On the reverse side, if you are tasked with being the trustee of a trust, you want to be sure that you are on top of the responsibilities involved and don’t end up in a situation that could result in legal action or financial difficulties for yourself. The attorneys who specialize in trust administration at McCunn Law know that this is a very serious endeavor and one that requires a keen ability to navigate the legal intricacies of the matter. When you choose us to help you with your trust, you choose a team with the experience to look out for your best interests.

Decedent Estate & Trust Administration

Our methods for handling trust administration issues are unique. We offer legal assistance for a range of decedent estate and trust administration needs.

Mr. McCunn specializes in a holistic, project management approach which empowers you to make your own decisions throughout the process. He has a reputation as a peacemaker and his honest and pragmatic attitude towards divorce and other family law issues ensures you only pay for the services you need during your case.

“McCunn Law is a high-quality and highly knowledgeable legal team. I went into a consultation regarding child custody and was extremely happy with the plan and ultimately the results of my case. They create a plan with the client’s needs and wants in mind. Drummond is also great working with regarding what kind of budget a client would be able to afford. If I have any more legal needs in the future this is the office I will use every time.”

Megan P.

“McCunn Law is a high-quality and highly knowledgeable legal team. I went into a consultation regarding child custody and was extremely happy with the plan and ultimately the results of my case. They create a plan with the client’s needs and wants in mind. Drummond is also great working with regarding what kind of budget a client would be able to afford. If I have any more legal needs in the future this is the office I will use every time.”

Megan P.

“McCunn Law is a high-quality and highly knowledgeable legal team. I went into a consultation regarding child custody and was extremely happy with the plan and ultimately the results of my case. They create a plan with the client’s needs and wants in mind. Drummond is also great working with regarding what kind of budget a client would be able to afford. If I have any more legal needs in the future this is the office I will use every time.”

Megan P.