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Estate Planning

: Estate Planning Practice Blog

Trust Administration After Someone Dies

By Jennifer Sawday


Living Trusts require administration after the death of a settlor (the person who created the trust).

Upon a person's death -- there are many steps that need to be taken in accordance to California laws to properly administer their Living Trust:

To start, California Probate Code Section 16061.7 requires notification by trustee to beneficiaries/heirs of the person who passed away as the first step.  See our blog post on this notice requirement.

California also requires a trustee to give notice of death to the Department of Health Services as it relates to Medi-Cal benefits. This notice allows the Department of Health Services to determine whether the decedent was receiving Medi-Cal benefits and if there is any right by the state for reimbursement.

Real property assets held in trust need to have titled cleared. An Affidavit of Death of Trustee is commonly filed along with other Trust Transfer Deeds to properly distribute the property as directed by the Living Trust.

Trust assets need to be appraised and otherwise handled.

And tax issues need to be considered and handled with the assistance of a qualified CPA or accountant experienced in estate matters.

And, lastly, it is prudent to wrap up the administration of a Living Trust with an agreement signed by the trustee and all of the beneficiaries to protect the parties.

This is a quick run down of the trust administration issues and is not meant to be all inclusive. Please consult with an attorney for specific advice regarding your trust administration matter.

Estate Planning, Probate and Trusts involve complex areas of law. Individual circumstances must be considered before any advice can be given.  The general information above is not to be construed as legal advice, which can only be given after consideration of the unique facts of each matter. Please seek the advice or counsel of your attorney, financial advisor or CPA as it may be appropriate.

Full post as published by Estate Planning Practice Blog on January 04, 2008 (boomark / email).

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