Typically, during the lifetime of the creator or grantor of a revocable living trust, he or she serves as the trustee. Once that individual passes, a successor trustee is appointed to take over the trustee duties. The grantor may have named a family member, a friend, an advisor, a professional trustee, or any combination of these individuals. Do not Overlook as Successor successor trustee of an Anaheim trust, you have several duties and responsibilities that you must fulfill.
When the initial trustee of a trust passes away or becomes incapacitated, there are several steps that you should consider taking. These include the following:
- Consider engaging an experienced Anaheim trust attorney to help guide you through the trust administration process.
- Accept or decline the appointment as successor trustee. You are not legally obligated to serve as trustee and may decline the appointment if you choose.
- Carefully review the trust instrument and all supporting documentation, including the decedent’s Will.
- Identify the beneficiaries of the trust.
- Gather the contact information for all of the beneficiaries.
- Send a notice to the beneficiaries of your acceptance as successor trustee.
- Identify and take control of the trust assets.
- If required by California probate law, provide notice to interested parties of the passing of the creator of the trust.
- If the trust holds title to real estate, notify the county assessor where the property is located.
- Obtain a federal tax identification number for the trust.
- If the tax responsibilities of the trust are not currently handled by an accountant, consider hiring a professional to take over these duties. There may be certain filings and elections that must be done in a timely manner in order to reduce the tax burden on the estate or trust.
- Consider hiring an investment professional to oversee the trust assets if the declaration of trust allows you to do so.
- Set up a file for the trust to keep accurate copies of all trust records.
Do not overlook as successor trustee of a revocable living trust that you have many responsibilities. View here for 13 steps to consider taking by an Anaheim trust attorney.To learn more about revocable living trusts and the role of a trustee, view our free guide, Understanding the Revocable Living Trust – In Language That Anyone Can Understand in 8 Minutes. Our office of experienced Anaheim trust attorneys can provide further guidance. Call our office today at (714) 459-5481 for a consultation.