When your loved one has died or has become incapacitated, and you have been named as the administrator of the trust, it is critical that you take action to protect yourself during this process. Our attorneys recognize the importance of ensuring trusts are carried out as they are designed, honoring the wishes of the party that created them. Yet, that does not make the process simplistic. With numerous tasks involved and complicated legal decisions to be made, it is always best to rely on experienced trust administration attorneys in San Jose, CA, to guide you through this process.
If you are in need of a trust administration attorney, do not wait to give Steburg Law Firm a call. Our team can help you to learn what your legal obligations are and help to alleviate some of the steps involved in this legal process.
What Does a Trust Administration Attorney Do?
Upon the death or incapacity of an individual who has established a trust, whether it be a single or a married person, it is generally advisable to seek the advice of an attorney to assist with the administration of the trust. Our attorneys can advise you in administering the trust, which includes notifying beneficiaries, managing issues and ultimately making distributions.
At the Steburg Law Firm, our attorneys are experienced in ensuring that administration is carried out in accordance with the terms of the trust as well as the Probate Code.
The average person has little to no experience dealing with a trust and typically has many questions when serving as trustee for the first time. Many administrative tasks must be accomplished before successfully distributing the funds of a trust to the beneficiaries.
The tasks may be further compounded by the relationship the trustee may have with the beneficiaries. In many cases, they are family members who are still distraught and grieving over the death of the “settlor” of the trust. For this reason, it is beneficial for the trustee to work with an attorney to minimize the emotional aspects of the administration and focus on the business of administering a trust.
Trust Administration vs Probate
Working closely with trust administration attorneys in San Jose, CA, provides you with a clear level of insight into what your responsibilities are and what steps you need to take. It is easy to confuse trust administration with the probate process. Here is some insight.
When a trust is established, and a trust administrator is named, that individual (who can be anyone named, including an attorney) is responsible for the administering of the trust. This typically includes collecting assets, paying debts, notifying beneficiaries, and managing any issues involving the individual’s estate. That person’s goal is to follow the instructions left by the trust owner and make decisions based on the decisions that the party would have wanted.
By contrast, the probate process is a court-supervised process. If a person dies without a will or estate plan, the courts will appoint a trust administrator to manage this entire process. The steps required are the same in that assets, debts, and beneficiaries are notified, but every step often involves the court’s supervision. That can be limiting to family members and may even lead to higher costs paid out of the estate.
By hiring and working with a trust administration attorney, you mitigate some of the risks that decisions will not be made as they should. You gain more legal support and guidance through this legal process as well. Since either the trust administration or probate process can be time consuming, having a trusted attorney by your side is often imperative.
Choosing The Best Trust Administration Lawyer for My Situation
Utilizing the support of trust administration attorneys is by far one of the most important decisions you will make. Yet, it is just as important to hire a professional you know can help you through this process. There are several key things to look for in these professionals.
- Experience in situations like your own is critical.
- Seek out an attorney with support for high-risk situations or high-net-worth clients.
- Find out what type of reputation the attorney has in the community and the courts.
- Trust a professional that provides clear information and advice to you that you can understand and appreciate but that will not lie or be misleading to you.
- Know that the person you are putting in charge of these decisions has the time to dedicate to your case and needs.
Not all attorneys can offer the same level of support in these situations. Seek out a trusted and respected professional that is available to talk to you and support you through this process.
A Trustee Requires Effective Representation
Effective representation of a trustee is critical to properly carrying out the terms of the trust, and also to minimize or eliminate missteps and errors that can be made by the trustee. Mistakes can be costly to the trust and could result in personal liability of the trustee.
Additionally, sometimes the settlor has not fully funded the trust or transferred title to all assets into the trust. In this situation, our experienced attorneys can assist with ensuring that the trust assets are marshalled and available for distribution to the beneficiaries
At times, it can be necessary for the Probate Court to become involved with the administration of a trust. If it is necessary, effective representation is crucial. At Steburg Law Firm, we can effectively represent you as trustee and maneuver through the complexities of court involvement.
How the Steburg Law Firm Can Help
Contact the Steburg Law Firm today to set up a consultation to discuss your case. Whether you need help right away or you are planning for future needs, allow our team to offer you the guidance needed. Our trust administration attorneys in San Jose, CA, are readily available and can answer your questions, give you direction, and mitigate some of the risks you’re facing in this legal matter.