Although a trust doesn’t have a formal probate process, administering the Trust still involves the process of gathering asset information, gathering creditor information, and ultimately distributing assets according to Trust.
You can read more information on the differences between trust administration and probate administration here.
Trust Administration can still be complicated, even if it’s faster and less expensive than Probate Administration. If you are a trustee, you will still have specific actions you must take and specific rules you must follow.
You have to follow the state and federal law. You will have to notify beneficiaries of their rights. You will need to identify each creditor and/or pay off outstanding bills and debts. You will need to file the decedent’s final income tax return, as well as other possible tax returns. You will need to open new bank accounts or brokerage accounts. You will need to distribute assets within a reasonable time frame. You will need to keep clear, organized, detailed records of everything you do and provide an accounting to each beneficiary annually.
The successor trustee or co-trustee may find that a qualified professional accountant and an experienced attorney will help tremendously with this process. If you are a trustee and you need help, please call us at 805-987-2500 and find out what we can do for you.
Don’t feel overwhelmed, with our FREE worksheet, you will be able to start yourself and your family on the road to a clearer more secure future.