Trustees: Follow These 7 Rules During California Trust Administration

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Serving as a successor trustee of a trust in California may feel overwhelming at first. If you have never acted as a trustee, you are likely unfamiliar with the responsibilities that lay before you. It is important that you learn about the duties of this role in order to ensure that your friend or loved one’s wishes are carried out as the estate plan is implemented. Fortunately, you do not have to implement an estate plan alone. A knowledgeable trust attorney can guide you through the process.

As you enter into your role of trustee, the following rules will serve as a valuable guide as you carry out the administration of the trust:

  1. Ask for help when you need it. This includes seeking out assistance from experienced advisors, such as a CPA, financial professional, or Anaheim trust lawyer.
  2. Treat all beneficiaries fairly and equally. This does not mean that you have to concede with all requests of a beneficiary when distributions are subject to your discretion. However, it does mean that you cannot favor one beneficiary over another.
  3. Read the trust instrument carefully and thoroughly so that you have a solid understanding of the intention of the trust’s creator.
  4. Remember that IRS and court deadlines are firm and must be carefully followed.
  5. Understand that it is your responsibility to manage all of the assets held in the trust.
  6. Familiarize yourself with any personal issues that may exist between the beneficiaries, trustees, or other fiduciaries. Understanding these issues may help you to avoid costly legal battles.
  7. Remain diligent when it comes to staying on top of new developments in California trust law. If you do not have the time to do so, consult with an experienced trust attorney in California.

To learn more about revocable living trusts and implementing estate plans, view our free guide, Understanding the Revocable Living Trust - In Language that Anyone Can Understand in 8 Minutes. The knowledgeable Anaheim trust attorneys at the Law Office of James F. Roberts & Associates, APC, are here to help. Call our office today at (714) 459-5481 for a consultation. 

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm