While difficult, accomplishing a grantor’s final wishes through proper trust administration can be extremely rewarding. At the Law Office of Emily J. Buchbinder, our Santa Cruz trust administration lawyer has extensive experience helping individuals succeed in their capacity as a trustee.
When the creator of a trust, known as the grantor, passes away, his or her named trustee will then be in charge of carrying out the terms and conditions of the trust as outlined in its documents. Carrying out the last wishes of a grantor, whether that person was a family member, friend, or otherwise, is a serious responsibility for which many trustees are unprepared. In the case of a family member, it can be especially difficult if you are dealing with the immediate emotional loss of someone you loved.
At the Law Offices of Emily J. Buchbinder, we understand the mental and emotional toll that trust administration can take. You may be understandably overwhelmed and confused by what needs to be accomplished legally. That is why we offer legal guidance to trustees in navigating the process. At our firm, you will receive thorough explanations of your legal responsibilities and step-by-step planning. With years of experience in trust administration assistance to clients in and around Santa Cruz, we have the knowledge and skills needed to ease the process.
Reach out to the Law Office of Emily J. Buchbinder via our online contact form or by calling (831) 400-3496 to arrange for a consultation with a Santa Cruz trust administration attorney.
What Is a Trust?
A trust is a three-party arrangement where one person (the grantor) gives property or assets to another person (the trustee) for the benefit of a third person or persons (the beneficiaries). Setting up a trust is a great way to ensure that your belongings and property go to the right individuals after you pass away.
You can also use a trust while you are still alive. For example, you may decide to create a college fund for your children to access when they reach a certain age. In this situation, we can advise you on the creation of a living trust.
Creating a trust will help you accelerate the asset and property distribution process. Wills often take much longer to finalize because they are subject to the legal process of probate. Since trusts are quicker to establish, they generally prove less costly than a will. The content of a trust also remains private while wills are a matter of public record. For these reasons, many people opt for a trust over a will when planning their estate.
What Is the Trust Administration Process?
When it comes to executing the wishes found in a trust, both trustees and beneficiaries have certain rights and obligations.
Trustees are responsible for overseeing the trust administration process. This involves contacting each beneficiary and locating property and assets. The trustee will then distribute the assets according to the trust instructions. Doing so may involve retitling assets and filing all the appropriate legal documents.
Trustees are also responsible for dealing with any relevant taxes, including estate taxes, and creditors with claims on the estate. Staying on top of these proceedings can be difficult; consulting with a trust administration attorney in Santa Cruz can make all the difference.
Beneficiaries play a less active role in the trust administration process. However, they have a right to certain information and can hold the trustee accountable for mismanagement. They can also engage in negotiations with the trustee about the distribution process. Beneficiaries of a trust should also meet with a trust lawyer to ensure that their rights are respected by the trustee and other parties involved.
As a trustee, you may face many unique challenges when tasked with trust administration. For example, you must communicate with beneficiaries and distribute their shares appropriately. Oftentimes, a beneficiary may not be pleased with what he or she is allocated to receive under trust provisions. Engaging in discussions with an unhappy beneficiary can be an extremely stressful task. A trustee must also manage complex legal documents and communicate with any third parties involved, such as creditors.
Customized Legal Strategies
Just like no two individuals are the same, our team believes that no two cases are the same. We work with you to ensure your legal strategy is crafted to address your unique circumstances.
Attentive & Skilled Representation
We understand that this is a difficult topic to think of, so our team of dedicated legal advocates compassionately works with you and your family in order to ensure you are in control of your future.
Certified Legal Specialist
Emily Buchbinder, our founding attorney, is a certified legal specialist in estate planning, trust, and probate law. We have the tools, knowledge, and resources to help with your legal needs.