California Probate Code outlines Trustee Duties quite clearly. And now, we’re going to make it even clearer. First off, let’s define some popular terms:
A trust, or living trust, is a document designed to help families avoid legal process, probate, after a loved one dies. Typically, a trust is put in place to help heirs receive their inheritances faster. As this AARP article states, “A trust involves three parties: You as the creator, the trustee or trustees who agree to manage your assets as directed by the terms of the trust, and the beneficiaries.”
The Trustee is the person named to manage the assets within the trust, usually after the decedent passes away. Sometimes, the Trustee is also an heir or beneficiary, like an oldest child. Often, the Trustee is not a beneficiary, nor family member. Instead, they’re a trusted person, whom the decedent felt would act in the best interest of the heirs.
These are the family members, friends, colleagues, charities, etc. who are to receive assets from the trust.
This is the formal legal process administered by the courts that judicially processes in through the courts the transfer of assets to beneficiaries, the payment of a decedent’s creditor claims, and winding up of a decedent’s affairs.
These are the laws of each state that dictate probate processes.
The Trustee is legally in charge of all the assets. In some cases, the trust allows the Trustee to even make financial decisions for the beneficiaries, like selling a home or managing financial assets.
However, the California Probate Code Trustee Duties make it very clear that the Trustee is obligated to act in the best interests of the trust beneficiaries. The California Probate Code states: “The trustee has a duty to administer the trust solely in the interest of the beneficiaries.”
These are the overall first immediate steps for a trustee:
Typically, a Trustee will work with a trust attorney or law firm whom they know will protect them and ensure the trust is administered efficiently and cost-effectively; and, any issues that arise are handled expertly.
Email or call us at RMO Lawyers. There’s never a cost for a phone call or free consultation. We serve clients in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Kansas City, and Miami. In other locations, we can refer you to an experienced trust attorney. Email us today: firstname.lastname@example.org
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