WHAT IS TRUST ADMINISTRATION?
It is the job Successor Trustee to administer the trust. This means the Successor Trustee must collect the trust assets, maintain them, provide accountings, and distribute them to the appropriate beneficiary according to the terms of the trust and the applicable law.
However, if there were assets left outside of the trust, depending on their value, part of the trust administration may also involve probate.
OFFERING ASSISTANCE TO SUCCESSOR TRUSTEES
If you are a Successor Trustee in need of assistance with administering the trust after the loss of a loved one, you are welcome to set up a free consultation.
WHAT IS A HEGGSTAD PETITION?
A Heggstad Petition transfers the descent's property into the trust because there is evidence that the settlor intended it to be transferred to become an asset of the trust, but it was not for some reason during the settlor's lifetime. If successful, the court will confirm the asset as part of the trust which will allow the trustee to distribute it according to the terms of the trust.
FIDUCIARY DUTIES THAT TRUSTEES OWE BENEFICIARIES
Additionally, Successor Trustees must:
Avoid Conflicts of Interest
Disclosure Material Facts to Beneficiaries
Not to Delegate Reasonable Tasks (does not prohibit hiring an attorney to assist with the trust administration)
Keep Trust Assets Separate
Enforce or Defend Claims on behalf of the trust
Successor Trustees must not act in a way that would jeopardize the trust or any beneficiary.
This requires Successor Trustees to act with:
A Successor Trustee's failure to reasonably act and uphold the duties owed to a beneficiary can open themselves up to personal liability.
Being a Successor Trustee is an important job with which you were entrusted, whether or not you wanted it. It can be stressful especially after the loss of a loved one, but you're not alone if you would like assistance.
ARE YOU A FRUSTRATED BENEFICIARY?
If a Successor Trustee is failing to do their job correctly or at all, then as a beneficiary, you may have legal recourse.
CAN AN IRREVOCABLE TRUST BE CHANGED?
There are specific circumstances where an irrevocable trust can be changed but it requires the assistance of an attorney.
An irrevocable trust may be changed only when:
All living settlor(s), trustee(s), and beneficiaries unanimously agree to the modification or terminator of the trust. ( California Probate Code section 15404(a))
A trustee may petition the court to modify or terminate the irrevocable trust because the continuation of the trust would defeat or impair the trust's purpose under the "changed circumstances doctrine."