What is a Trust or Estate Administration?

A Trust Administration carries out of the terms of a Trust, as opposed to an Estate Administration, which usually involves Probate proceedings.  In many cases a Trust Administration in essence replaces a Probate proceeding for people who created a trust and transferred title of their assets into the Trust. However, the process is private, faster than Probate, and in most cases less costly. Trust Administrations typically occur after the death of the Settlor (the creator) of the Trust but can also pay out to Beneficiaries while the Settlor is still living.  Each Trust is unique, and should be modified to the needs and desires of the Settlor.

What happens during a Trust Administration?

Trust Administrations differ depending on the type of Trust being administered and the terms within that Trust.  Generally, a Trustee must marshal (collect) the assets of the Trust, address all known and reasonably ascertainable creditors, perform accountings, and make distributions to the Beneficiaries.  The Trustee must be mindful of the fiduciary duties imposed by the California Probate Code as well as the Trust Instrument itself.  Trustees of Special Needs Trusts (SNTs) must also comply with the rules and regulations of SSI, SSDI, Medical and other programs Beneficiaries may be enrolled in.

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