Trusts are a very useful tool when it comes to estate planning. There are many benefits of creating a trust, and a trust can serve more than just one purpose. For those interested in including a trust in their estate plans or for anyone involved in a trust as a trustee or a beneficiary, it is important to learn more about the process of trust administration.
Whether you are just beginning the process of estate planning, or you are involved in estate litigation in some way, you will benefit from the advice of an experienced California estate planning attorney. The attorneys at Galanti and Copenhaver have many years of experience handling estate planning cases at every stage in the process. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys to learn more about trust administration services and other aspects of the estate planning process.
Common Reasons to Create a Trust
Including a trust in your estate plans is often a good idea. There are many reasons why people consider trusts. By creating a trust and placing your valuable assets in the trust, you can help your beneficiaries avoid dealing with a costly and lengthy probate process. In some cases, trusts can protect your estate from certain taxes. A trust also allows the grantor to protect his or her assets and to ensure they are properly distributed according to their wishes to their chosen beneficiaries upon their death. Another reason a trust is often a useful part of an estate plan is that it allows the grantor to designate someone to manage the trust in the event of their incapacitation. Finally, for those interested in charitable giving, creating a trust to facilitate the distribution of their gifts to charity is often the best way to go about it.
What is Trust Administration?
Trust administration is the process of ensuring that the trustee is compliant with California state law and properly carries out the mandates of the terms of the trust. Trust administration also can include managing the trust. Managing the trust can involve specific responsibilities, such as managing investments in connection with trust assets, as well as implementing strategies for charitable giving, insurance planning, handling risk management issues, and business succession planning (if necessary).
When you create a trust, you will also need to name a trustee to handle all aspects of trust administration. The trustee will have the duty to carry out the terms of the trust. One standard obligation of a trustee is to ensure that any titles to assets that are held in the trust are properly transferred. The trustee is also responsible for distributing assets upon the death of the grantor (creator of the trust) according to the terms set forth in the trust documents.
What Are Trust Administration Services?
When you create a trust, you will need to name a trustee to manage the trust and ensure trust assets are distributed properly to your beneficiaries upon your passing. If you create a living trust, you can be the trustee while you are alive and manage the trust yourself. However, you will need to choose a successor trustee to handle the trustee duties after your death. You can choose a trusted family member or friend to take on the trustee duties; however, you may also want to consider hiring an outside party to take on these responsibilities.
Law Firms and Other Companies Are Available to Handle Trust Administration Services
There are many law firms and other companies that you can opt to name as the successor trustee to your trust. These companies often have a lot of experience managing trusts and performing trust administration services, such as managing the trust and ensuring proper disbursement. If you still want to designate a family member or friend as your successor trustee, you can also hire a law firm or other company to provide trust administration services and assist the trustee with their duties.
These companies can help your chosen trustee with nearly every aspect of the process. They can provide guidance regarding taking inventory and valuing the assets in the trust and can also help the trustee follow the proper steps to notify all beneficiaries as needed. Companies that provide trust administration services can also help the trustee sell assets of the trust if it becomes necessary, as well as distribute assets to beneficiaries. These companies can also work with the trustee to ensure that the trustee is well-informed of their fiduciary duties and can help advise the trustee regarding the best ways to protect them from any liabilities in connection with the beneficiaries of the trust. Contact Galanti & Copenhaver at (707) 867-0787 or fill out our online contact form to see how we can help you.