Trust Administration Attorneys

The trust administration process is a crucial part of settling an estate and requires navigating complex legal procedures that can be difficult for interested parties to understand. At RMO Lawyers, our skilled and experienced trust administration attorneys provide guidance in the process so that you can maintain peace of mind and secure a trust distribution aligned with the interests of the creator, also known as the settlor of the trust.

What is A Trust Administration Attorney?

A trust administration attorney is a lawyer who is experienced in interpreting and facilitating a trust document to fulfill the best interests of the settlor.  A trust administration attorney helps clients navigate the process of administering a trust by offering legal interpretation, guidance, protection, and more.

Every situation is different, so a trust administration attorney works to understand the unique circumstances surrounding your case and provide the appropriate guidance. At RMO Lawyers, our team of trust administration attorneys is committed to supporting you through any step of the process.

What Does a Trust Administration Attorney Do?

A trust administration attorney plays a valuable role in the trust process, offering a  variety of services depending on what the circumstances require. Administering a trust encompasses a range of responsibilities that entail a significant workload. Moreover, trustees are bound by legal obligations known as fiduciary duties, mandating that they consistently act in the beneficiaries’ best interests. Consequently, any errors or failures in fulfilling these duties could expose them to potential legal liabilities.  Our trust administration attorneys at RMO Lawyers work to make the process easier for parties involved in administering a trust, supporting clients in all the following areas.

Interpreting the Trust

Trust administration attorneys can help trustees and beneficiaries understand and interpret the terms laid out in a trust document. RMO Lawyers will offer support in gathering information to understand the wishes of the decedent to properly interpret the trust’s terms and safeguard our clients’ assets and interests.

Asset Management

Managing assets related to a trust includes maintaining an inventory of assets, conducting detailed accounting, paying debts, and more. Our trust administration lawyers can oversee the allocation of assets according to the trust’s terms, ensuring compliance with legal requirements and a fair distribution for beneficiaries.

Selling Property and Other Decisions

Trust administration attorneys can guide trustees in determining the best path forward for managing certain assets and property, whether that includes consulting beneficiaries or requires petitioning the court for approval of acts like selling property or investing estate or trust funds. RMO Lawyers can provide appropriate and relevant guidance.

Making Distributions

The final step in trust administration is the distribution of assets to beneficiaries, which can be an intricate process. Our trust administration attorneys can provide guidance in making prompt distributions aligned with the trust document’s intentions, providing support for calculating beneficiaries’ shares, distributing shares in a timely manner, and determining payment schedules. 

Fiduciary Duties and Legal Compliance

Trustees are required under law to act in the best interest of a trust’s beneficiaries. Our trust administration attorneys provide guidance for trustees in understanding their legal and ethical responsibilities, upholding their fiduciary duties to prevent disputes, and securing a fair outcome for all interested parties.

Resolving Disputes and Mediating Conflicts

Conflicts can occur over trust documents and trust asset distributions. RMO Lawyers offer support in resolving disputes and offering mediation for conflicts between beneficiaries or with trustees. We’ll take all possible steps to find a fair resolution that brings the best possible outcome for all sides.

Common Trust Administration Disputes

While the RMO administration team is ready to assist with the facilitation of the trust, our RMO Trust litigation team can step in when and if disputes arise during the trust administration process. This includes disagreements over the interpretation of a trust’s terms to conflicts over asset distribution. An attorney can provide an objective look into the case to find a fair resolution under the law. At RMO Lawyers, we provide support in navigating all the following disputes.

Beneficiary Disputes

Disputes may arise between beneficiaries over the allocation of trust assets. These disputes may center around perceptions of unequal treatment or concerns regarding the specific distributions of assets. Our administration team can work with our litigation team to offer support in resolving these disputes to secure the best possible outcome for each party in alignment with the deceased’s wishes.

Trustee Responsibilities and Actions

Trustees are responsible for acting in the best interest of the deceased. Disputes can arise if there are concerns that a trustee is not upholding their legal duties. RMO Lawyers can provide support in both opening a case against a trustee and offering defense for trustees accused of misconduct.

Interpretation of Trust Terms

In some cases, the terms outlined by a trust may be unclear, causing ambiguity around trust terms or trustee powers. Our trust administration attorneys will use a range of methods to break down the ambiguity and preserve the trust’s original intent.

Estate and Tax Issues

During the trust administration process, issues may arise regarding the management of the estate, trust property, or tax implications for beneficiaries receiving assets. Our attorneys will help you understand your obligations regarding taxes and the estate and outline the next steps to follow to resolve any issues.

Mediation and Litigation Strategies

Some cases may extend past initial disagreements and require more intensive measures. RMO Lawyers is here to support you in every step of resolving disagreements. We’ll take all possible steps to resolve disputes through mediation and negotiations. However, we’ll be prepared to represent you in the courtroom, if necessary, too.

When Should I Contact A Trust Administration Attorney?

Because of the many services a trust administration attorney can offer, there are many scenarios that may justify reaching out. Some signs that you should contact a trust administration attorney include:

  • You are having trouble interpreting the terms of a trust document
  • You have concerns about the actions or conduct of a trustee
  • You are a trustee and need support navigating your legal responsibilities
  • There is a dispute between parties related to the trust

Ultimately, if you have any questions or concerns surrounding the trust administration process, you should schedule a consultation with our team at RMO Lawyers. Our trust administration attorneys are here to guide you through every step of the process.

Our Case Results

RMO has a proven track record of protecting people and defending legacies.

Summary Adjudication of Disinherited Beneficiary’s Trust Contest
Swiftly secured the dismissal of a trust contest of a disgruntled, disinherited trust beneficiary on a motion after strategically allowing the trust contest period to expire before serving a notice of proposed action to distribute trust assets to the trust’s remaining beneficiaries and nothing to the disinherited beneficiary.
Secured Family’s Business Legacy
Representing the successor family trustee, secured the generational family business for the decedent’s heirs by acquiring from a disgruntled beneficiary their interest in the family business on extremely favorable terms that will allow the family to continue operating the family business for future generations to come.
Defense of Financial Elder Abuse Claim Against Surviving Spouse Trustee
Successfully defended a surviving spouse trustee against financial elder abuse and other claims made by family members who said she had fraudulently transferred assets to herself from her late husband’s trust and estate.
Prevented Trustee Removal for Badly-Lawyered Trust Accounting
Staved off suspension, removal and surcharge for a trustee who had failed to properly or timely provide court-ordered trust accountings to trust beneficiaries and was staring down an imminent deadline, as well as suspension, removal and surcharge.
Trustee Removal for Fraud
Neutralized and secured removal of a hostile co-trustee who was attempting to bilk our client’s trust of millions of dollars through a series of fabricated claims.
Thieving Trustee Removed and Surcharged
Secured removal of a thieving co-trustee daughter whose malfeasance left her own mother destitute and unable to pay her bills, including recovery of the stolen assets, attorney fees and costs.
Trust Beneficiary Dispute Squashed & Partition Avoided
Swooped in on behalf of an institutional trustee after years of protracted litigation to secure a decision from the Los Angeles probate court to end a years-long dispute between feuding siblings over the distribution of their parents’ estate, avoiding distribution of assets in-kind, which would have only resulted in partition.
Sub-Trust Allocations Defended
Client’s mother survived step-dad and succeeded him as trustee of their family trust. After mom passed, step-dad’s children alleged she had improperly allocated trust assets to favor her survivor’s trust, which went to our client, over the marital trust, which went to step-dad’s children. Using historic appraisals and valuations, demonstrated the disputed allocation was reasonable, resolving the dispute.
Inept Trustee Removed & Client Appointed Successor Trustee to Save Estate
Non-responsive and ineffective trustee who had done little to nothing to administer the trust or protect trust assets from waste following decedent’s passing was removed and our client appointed as successor trustee by the probate court, avoiding further damage.
Racist Trustee Removed and Surcharged
Removed and obtained surcharge of a non-beneficiary family trustee who hurled racial epthets at our client, refused to account, and tried to sell the house intended for our sole trust beneficiary client out of spite, securing the home for our client and her family.
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Who Can Hire a Trust Administration Attorney?

Seeing a trust involves several parties and every situation is different, there is a lot of room for ambiguity. As a result, many parties can benefit from the support of a trust administration attorney in the administration process. We support all of the following clients at RMO Lawyers.


Trustees have certain legal requirements and expectations of them when leading the process of administering a trust and must carefully uphold their fiduciary duties of distributing assets, settling debts, and following the trust. Our trust administration attorneys at RMO can provide legal guidance for navigating these complex procedures.


​​Beneficiaries have specific rights to the assets outlined in a trust and can benefit from a trust administration attorney to help them understand and secure these rights. RMO Lawyers can help beneficiaries navigate detailed legal processes so they can obtain their rightful trust distribution.


Conservators and guardians may benefit from the support of a trust administration attorney when a conservatee or ward passes. RMO Lawyers can help conservators and guardians carry out their legal responsibilities for asset management and administration, as well as manage potential conflicts surrounding the estate.


Spouses have unique rights related to the trust and probate administration processes. Our team at RMO Lawyers will represent and support spouses to help them secure and understand their rights while resolving any potential disputes with other beneficiaries.


Additional interested parties with a legitimate interest in a trust may include conservators, guardians, or charitable organizations listed as beneficiaries, among others. Our lawyers at RMO can support these parties in addressing breaches of fiduciary duty that affect their rightful access to assets of the trust.


Be advised that the RMO Client Relations Team will reach out prior to your scheduled time, as our policy requires that we gather additional information concerning the parties to your case before we can confirm your consultation. In the event that we are unable to reach you, regrettably, we will need to cancel your requested consultation.

Communication Disclaimer

Please note that communications by you to RMO LLP or any of its lawyers through this website do not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the firm. Do not send any privileged or confidential information to the firm through this website or otherwise until instructed in writing from us to do so. 

FAQs About Trust Administration Law

While the steps vary by jurisdiction, administering a trust typically involves several basic steps, including:

  1. Review the trust document carefully to understand its terms, conditions, and instructions regarding asset management, distribution, and beneficiary rights.
  2. Identify and gather all assets held within the trust including bank accounts, investments, real estate, and personal property.
  3. Determine the value of the trust assets to establish a baseline for distribution and accounting purposes.
  4. Manage the trust assets, making investment decisions in accordance with the trust document and applicable laws to preserve and potentially grow the assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries.
  5. Keep beneficiaries informed about trust matters, including any changes in asset value, investment strategy, or significant decisions affecting their interests.
  6. Distribute income and principal from the trust to beneficiaries according to the terms of the trust document and any legal requirements.
  7. Maintain accurate and detailed records of all trust transactions, including income, expenses, distributions, and communications with beneficiaries.
  8. Fulfill tax obligations by filing appropriate tax returns for the trust, ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local tax laws.
  9. Once all trust obligations have been fulfilled, distribute the remaining assets to beneficiaries according to the trust document, obtain any necessary releases or approvals, and formally close the trust administration process.

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In most cases, trustees are entitled to compensation for their services in administering a trust. The trust document typically outlines the trustee’s compensation, either specifying a fixed fee, a percentage of the trust assets, or a reasonable hourly rate for their time and effort. However, the terms of trustee compensation can vary depending on the specific provisions of the trust instrument and applicable laws in the jurisdiction.

The cost of trust administration in California and Texas can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the trust, the assets involved, the attorney or professional hired to administer the trust, and any potential disputes or litigation that may arise during the process.

Generally, trust administration costs include attorney fees, trustee fees, accounting fees, court fees, and any other miscellaneous expenses related to managing and distributing the trust assets.


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