Trust Administration

Trust administration is the process whereby a Trust Administrator, referred to as the “Trustee”, protects and manages the assets in the trust, and oversees their distribution, according to the wishes of the Trust creator, also known as the Grantor, Settlor or Trustor. The express terms of the Trust govern its administration as the Trust instrument grants the trustee itemized powers. The Trustee must follow the terms of the Trust unless they are illegal or impossible, or a change in circumstances requires that the Trustee file a petition requesting a court order allowing the Trustee to deviate from the terms of the Trust.

The Trustee is under a duty to administer the trust strictly, by its terms. The Trustee must use skill and care in their actions and in making administrative decisions, which include maintenance of trust records, disbursement decisions, and protecting valuables. The Probate Code defines many of the Trustee’s duties, including:

  • To carry out the expressed terms of the trust
  • To defend the trust
  • To invest trust assets prudently
  • To be impartial among beneficiaries
  • To account for actions and keep beneficiaries informed
  • To be loyal
  • Not to delegate tasks that cannot be delegated
  • Not to profit
  • Not to be in a conflict of interest position
  • To administer the trust in the best interest of the beneficiaries

If you have a Trust but are unable to administer it due to incapacity, we can help. We can work with you to transfer your responsibilities as Trustee to your Successor Trustee, who can begin to oversee and protect your Trust assets, while ensuring that your bills are paid and assets are distributed, pursuant to the terms of the Trust.

Our experienced attorneys can help your Successor Trustee begin to administer your Trust after the death of one or both of you.  We will assist with various required legal notifications and formalities. Bills must be paid, property titles verified, tax returns filed, assets marshaled, appraised and sold, and ultimately, distributed to the appropriate beneficiaries. We have the knowledge and expertise to help your Successor Trustee carry out their duties to successfully administer your Trust according to your wishes.