At the very beginning of a trust administration, the trustee must provide notice to certain parties. This notice is required when the creator of the trust passes away and its administration is initiated—no later than 60 days from the date of death. California imposes a statutory form of notice, meaning that the information that must be contained in the notice is outlined under the law. It is vital that the trustee fulfill these obligations properly. Failing to do so could expose the trustee to accusations of wrongdoing and might result in potential harm to the inheritance of a beneficiary of the trust.
Parties Entitled to Notice of a Trust Administration
One of the first questions on the minds of many trustees during a trust administration is which parties are entitled to receive this notice. The requirement may pertain to the following parties:
- Legal heirs of the decedent, whether or not they are named as beneficiaries of the trust. Legal heirs are outlined under California law.
- Individual beneficiaries of the trust. These beneficiaries are named in the trust instrument itself.
- Institutional beneficiaries of the trust, such as a school, hospital, or business. Similar to individual beneficiaries, institutional beneficiaries will also be outlined in the trust document.
- Charitable beneficiaries of the trust, such as a charitable foundation.
- Creditors of the trust, under certain circumstances.
Since providing this notice is an obligation of the trustee during the trust administration, it is important that the proper parties be identified. It is equally important that the notice contain all of the required information. Fortunately, the trustee may seek guidance from an experienced trust administration attorney to ensure that the notice requirement is handled properly.
Procedural questions during a trust administration are a common occurrence. We have helped many clients handle estate and trust administrations and we encourage you to view our client testimonials page today to learn more about how we can help you.