Do you need assistance setting up a trust or handling trust administration tasks? At BPE Law, we have helped individuals and families with their trust needs for nearly 20 years. It is our mission to offer you efficient and cost-effective services that meet your legal needs.
Legal Assistance with Trust Administration
Laws governing trusts and probate in the State of California are extremely complex. Because California has no uniform probate code, many individuals choose a trust as a way help their loved ones avoid the lengthy probate process. Your BPE Law attorney will help you to understand laws related to trusts and can assist you with essential trust administration tasks.
Understanding Trust Administration
Every trust has an administrator, known as a trustee. This person holds the legal deeds to another individual’s property. The trustee may also be assigned a power of attorney so that they can handle financial tasks and make medical decisions for individuals who are no longer able to do so for themselves. When setting up a trust, it’s important to choose a trustee carefully. The individual in charge of trust administration will have many responsibilities to the estate.
Your BPE Law attorney can prepare all the paperwork necessary to establish a trust. Any supporting legal documents will be prepared and filed at the same time as the trust to ensure that all of your concerns are addressed. Of course, your attorney can also help you make changes to the trust on your request.
Understanding Revocable Living Trusts
If you have been asked to act as a trustee or are interested in starting a trust, you have probably heard the term revocable living trust. In short, a living trust is one that an individual or couple sets up while they are still alive. The trust determines the distribution and use of assets while the individuals are living and after they have passed away. These trusts are called revocable because they can be altered or cancelled by the individuals who set them up at any time.
Services for Trustees
If you have been chosen as a trustee, you are in charge of trust administration. While trust administration is an important task, it may also seem daunting. The estate law experts at BPE Law can guide you as you handle routine administration tasks. We can also provide comprehensive advice regarding filing taxes and handling complex financial transactions. We can provide assistance with all of the following trust administration tasks:
- The marshalling of assets.
- Preparing asset valuation.
- Paying taxes and addressing debts.
- Changing the titles for assets.
- Distributing property as directed in the trust.
Remember that you may also need to work with a certified public accountant (CPA) if you are a trustee.
Trusts are often used to avoid the probate process. However, some trusts do undergo litigation after an individual has passed away. In these situations, it is necessary to have a qualified attorney handle litigation. Your BPE Law attorney will review the original trust and determine the merits of litigation. Your attorney will then advise you as to how litigation should be handled.
If you have newly been assigned trust administration duties, you may also want to consult with an attorney to understand your personal exposure to trust-related litigation. Your BPE Law attorney will review trust documents and will help you understand your duties so that you can avoid any personal liability related to how you administer the trust.
Handling Claims Against The Trust or Estate
It is not unusual for individuals to file a claim against a trust or estate after an individual has passed away. In some situations, family members who feel that they were wrongly excluded from a trust by trustee error will pursue litigation. In other situations, individuals may claim that the individual for whom the trust was set up is liable of some wrongdoing. In most cases, individuals who file such suits are seeking monetary damages.
Trustees who receive notices of legal action must work with a qualified attorney in order to properly handle these claims. In some situations, it may be advantageous to the trust to settle the dispute outside of court. Your BPE Law attorney will explain your claim-related options to you and will advise you as to the best course of action given your situation. Your attorney will make appearances in court on your behalf and will work to ensure the protection of a trust’s assets.
If you need assistance with trust design or trust administration, please call us today at 916-966-2260.