Trust Administration

– Areas of Specialization

A living trust comes into existence on the date it is signed and assets are placed into it. So even when the settlor dies, trust administration has been ongoing since the date of existence of the trust. However, when the settlor dies, the successor trustee follows the new “sections” of the existing trust. So on the death of the settlor, we now look at the trust document and Probate Code for guidance on how to administer the trust after the death of the settlor.

At this point, the revocable living trust now becomes an irrevocable trust, as the only person who could change it (the settlor) has now died.

When someone dies, it is normal to have some type of estate administration. There are generally four types of estate administration: 

Probate Administration

This is the court administered the process of transferring the assets and liabilities of the decedent to the proper recipients.  

Summary Administration

This is a more informal court process that occurs when the decedent’s qualified assets are less than $150,000.

Informal Administration

This is a process of transferring assets via contractual or title transfer outside the court system.

Trust Administration

This is estate administration through a trust.

These types of administration are not mutually exclusive, as an estate can have one, two three or all four types of administration all at the same time.

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