California Trust Administration Law
A trust administrator, or trustee, living in the Roseville, California area has a number of responsibilities depending on the estate and California Law. Fortunately, in most cases, these laws are not overly complicated. In addition, because the descendant has left their estate in a trust, the process of transferring wealth to their beneficiaries happens much more quickly than possible via probate court. In fact, a trust can settle in months compared to years in probate court, resulting in an efficient, favorable outcome for all parties involved.
However, because California law regarding trust administration seems relatively uncomplicated on the surface, it can be tempting to attempt to fulfill your role as a trustee without legal counsel. This is usually a mistake. The average person struggles to navigate through the process of trust administration without inadvertently making some mistakes along the way. Unfortunately, inexperience is not a defense. If beneficiaries unjustly affect the outcome of the estate, financially costly mistakes can come out of your pocket.
A Roseville Trust Administrator’s Liability
If you are a trustee, the decedent entrusted you with one of the most important financial roles there is— following through on the final wishes of a loved one. You must act as quickly and efficiently as possible to distribute the assets to grieving beneficiaries. Unfortunately, inexperience with the law can cause you to make mistakes you may not even be aware you are making until it is too late.
As mentioned, inexperience is not a defense that will save you from liability for these mistakes. You could incur legal fees and court surcharges if the beneficiaries believe you have acted improperly and begin court actions against you. If one of the beneficiaries finds fault in your trust administration role, you may be required to compensate the beneficiaries for financial loss.
Transparent Record Keeping
To prevent liability and ensure the efficient distribution of the estate, thorough, organized, and transparent record keeping is necessary. In addition, you must ensure documentation becomes available to all parties involved in a timely manner. An experienced Roseville, California trust administration lawyer can help you complete and file all necessary documentation and obtain signatures from each beneficiary.
In addition, you must ensure tax forms are complete and filed in accordance with California and Federal law. If not, beneficiaries may incur elevated California property taxes, and you may incur liability. The assistance of an estate attorney can help you ensure the record keeping process completes smoothly.