Administering a Trust in California: 10 Initial and Helpful Tips

Administering a trust in California requires attention to detail and organization. A trustee must manage trust assets efficiently while carrying out the terms of the trust instrument. If you have not served in this role in the past, you may feel overwhelmed by the tasks that lay ahead. Fortunately, you do not have to travel this path alone. An experienced Anaheim trust lawyer can guide you through the process of implementing an estate plan in California.

In addition to the typical guidelines and checklists that you may find when researching trust administration in California, consider using the following tips shortly after finding yourself in the role of trustee:

  1. Order several copies of the death certificate so that you will have them on hand as the need arises.
  2. Consider removing some funds from a joint account if you are at all concerned about the bank incorrectly freezing the account.
  3. Avoid making any cash transactions, which are more difficult to track.
  4. Review the California Probate Code provisions that outline the duties of a trustee.
  5. Avoid advancing any funds for your own benefit.
  6. Gather account statements and financial information for the three months preceding the decedent’s passing and the three months after his passing.
  7. Begin a spreadsheet to track the dates and actions taken as trustee.
  8. Create a calendar of important dates, including court dates and tax deadlines.
  9. Begin gathering names and updated addresses of all beneficiaries.
  10. Begin gathering recommendations for financial advisors.

Each of these tips can help to make the overall trust implementation process run more smoothly and efficiently. For more information about how a revocable trust works, view our free DVD, Understanding the Revocable Living Trust – In Language that Anyone Can Understand in 8 Minutes. Our office of experienced Anaheim trust attorneys offers additional information and guidance through the trust and estate administration process. 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