When the estate planning process reaches the stage of implementation, beneficiaries often have one thing on their mind: when can they receive their inheritance? Fortunately, assets that were held in a living trust often pass more quickly and with greater efficiency than assets that must go through the formal probate proceedings in order to transfer title. An experienced Anaheim trust lawyer can help guide trustees through the distribution of assets and explain the rules and guidelines of trust administration to the beneficiaries.
The following is a helpful overview of distribution of assets when held in a living trust:
- Assets that are held in a California living trust will be distributed to beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the trust.
- The California probate court may not be involved in the administration of the trust, absent specific circumstances. An example of such a circumstance would be a dispute among the trustees and beneficiaries or a challenge as to the validity of the trust.
- Title to the assets can be transferred without needing approval from the probate court.
- Assets will not be distributed until certain administrative tasks are carried out, including filing of tax returns, drafting of an accounting, and providing notice to all beneficiaries.
- Some or all of the assets will often not be distributed until expenses of the trust are paid.
- Beneficiaries generally cannot receive their distributions earlier than is outlined in the terms of the trust.
A good starting point for beneficiaries with questions about their distributions is to review the terms of the trust. For more information about 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 assist you as you administer a trust in California. Call our office today at (714) 282-7488 for a consultation.