Guidance for Successor Trustees
If you have questions about the management or administration of assets in a living trust, or if you have been named as the successor trustee under the terms of a revocable living trust, A/B bypass trust, special needs trust, or other estate planning documents, you likely will need experienced professional advice about the proper discharge of your duties as trustee during a period of incapacity or for postmortem administration.
Contact the trust administration attorneys at Thompson Von Tungeln for reliable guidance about your duties.
Certified Specialists to Assist You in Your Legal Duties
Our managing partner and lead attorney Kevin L. Von Tungeln is a Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. His experience and familiarity with the legal and practical considerations of California trust administration can save you stress, confusion, and the risk of expensive mistakes.
Among the duties of a successor trustee following the death of the trustor under a revocable living trust are the following:
- Read and understand the terms of the trust and contact any named co-trustees
- Give written notice of the living trust to trust beneficiaries, the decedent's heirs at law, and contingent heirs
- Prepare a preliminary inventory of the trust assets with estimated values
- Meet with legal, financial, real estate, or tax professionals as necessary to develop an accurate inventory with valuations, and to make sure that all assets are properly titled in the trust
- Collect death benefits, prepare and file tax returns, pay bills, and prepare a final accounting
- Distribute trust assets according to the terms of the trust
In a situation where the successor trustee's duties are activated upon the trustor's incapacity, the functions are roughly similar, with the important additional responsibility of supervising the medical treatment or long-term care of the trustor. Additional duties will involve contacting banks and financial advisors, appointing a guardian of minor children if necessary, and applying for insurance or disability benefits.
For more information about the responsibilities involved in trust administration, call (661) 945-5868 to speak with a trust administration attorney at Thompson Von Tungeln.