Ventura Trust Administration Attorney

Ventura Trust Administration Attorney

A proper trust can help surviving family members avoid probate and expedite asset transfer to beneficiaries. When trusts are formed, they are placed in the hands of a trustee to manage and safeguard the assets in the trust on behalf of the beneficiaries. Once the settlor – the person who established the trust – passes away, the trustee’s legal duties to manage the administration of the trust kick in. Administering a trust includes managing and distributing assets according to the terms in the trust documents. Trust administration can be ripe with legal issues and disputes, adding tension to an already emotional situation. The Ventura trust administration attorney’s at Hermance Law can help simplify things by preparing and guiding you through this challenging time with our in-depth knowledge of trusts and estate planning law. We are your personal representative to help administer living trusts, irrevocable trusts, and special needs trusts.

Trust Administration Laws in Ventura, CA

California trust administration laws outline a trustee’s rights and responsibilities. We don’t expect you to understand trust laws or how they apply to your case – that’s why our law office is here. But when dealing with a complicated trust administration process, you should at least be aware of the legalities. Here’s an overview.

Trustee Duties

When an individual accepts responsibility to become a trustee, they are legally bound to their duties as a trustee. These duties include:

  • Administer the trust according to the trust instrument
  • Administer the trust solely in the interest of the beneficiaries
  • Do not use or deal with trust property for the benefit of the trustee
  • Do not become a trustee to another trust that would create a conflict of interest with the beneficiary of the first trust
  • Take steps to preserve and maintain control over trust property
  • Make trust property productive
  • Keep the property of the trust separate from other property
  • See to it that trust property is designated as property of the trust
  • Take reasonable steps to enforce claims that are part of trust property
  • Take reasonable steps to defend actions that may result in loss of the trust
  • Do not delegate trust duties that the trustee is required to do
  • Apply the full extent of their skills
  • Deal with beneficiaries impartially
  • Participate in the administration of the trust
  • Take steps to prevent a co-trustee from committing a breach of trust

Breaching your fiduciary duty in the role of the trustee could result in your suspension or removal from the trust.

Power of Trustees

While subject to stringent duties, trustees are also granted special powers in which they do not need to request court authorization to enact. Trustee powers are wide-ranging; here are a few.

  • To collect, hold, and retain trust property from a settlor or any other person
  • To accept changes or additions to the property of the trust from a settlor or any other person
  • To participate in the operation of any enterprise or business that is considered part of the trust property
  • To deposit trust funds
  • To acquire or dispose of property for cash or on credit
  • To manage, control, divide, develop, improve, exchange, partition, change the characteristics of, or abandon trust property
  • To encumber, mortgage, or pledge trust property
  • Make ordinary or extraordinary repairs to trust property
  • Develop or dedicate land
Ventura Trust Administration Attorney

California Trust Administration Checklist

Trust administration can be a complicated process. That’s why hiring an estate planning lawyer is best to help you through the steps.

Here’s a general overview of your responsibilities as a trustee during the trust process.

  1. Locate important documents – Find the estate plan, including the trust document, valid will, death certificate, and other essential documents.
  2. Provide notice to trust beneficiaries and heirs – Notify beneficiaries and heirs of the trust administration within 60 days of the decedent’s death. 
  3. Identify and value assets – Prepare a list of the deceased’s assets, obtain a valuation of these items, and list them on an inventory.
  4. Identify outstanding financial obligations – Determine if debts or liabilities are owed, make a list, and arrange to pay them off.
  5. File tax returns – Prepare, file, and pay any owed estate taxes.
  6. Prepare trust distribution plan – Create a plan for distributing assets for the trust document. Beneficiaries must consent to this plan before implementation.
  7. Distribute trust assets – Distribute the trust assets and close the estate

Administering a trust can be easier said than done. To avoid conflict at any step of the process, we recommend contacting a trust attorney for guidance.

How Can a Trust Administration Attorney Help?

Probate and trust administration can be overwhelming tasks – making some trustees want to throw in the towel before they even get started. At Hermance Law, we work alongside trustees providing a wide range of trust administration services to expedite the process. We pride ourselves on building a solid attorney-client relationship to help you through this challenging process.

Here’s what we can provide. 

  • Trust interpretation
  • Communications to beneficiaries
  • Distributions to beneficiaries
  • Tax considerations
  • Investment guidance
  • Structuring trust transactions
  • Trust litigation and conflict resolution

Our Ventura county trust lawyers put your best interest at heart. Our free initial consultation gives you access to risk-free legal counsel for your trust-related questions and concerns.

Hermance Law: Guiding You Through Life’s Toughest Moments

Trustees who have been serving for years can find that administration of a trust may be more than what they bargained for. It’s no secret that it is a hard job, but someone has to do it. And when that someone is you, our Ventura administration attorneys at Hermance Law office are here to walk you through the process..

Trust Administration: Frequently Asked Questions

How much does hiring a Ventura trust administration attorney cost?

Generally, a retainer is required to hire a trust attorney. Legal fees billed hourly can be paid using funds from the trust. The overall cost to hire a trust attorney for these services can vary per area, legal expertise, and based on the law firm’s services. 

Can a trustee resign?

A trustee can decide to step down from their job at any time. Unfortunately, this decision tends to coincide with trust administration. If this is the case, the trustee must sign a Declination to Serve as Trustee, and the alternate trustee (as listed in the trust) will serve in their place. 

Do I need a trust in California?

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to establish a trust as part of your estate. In general, trusts can help make sure your assets are distributed according to your final wishes. They can also help your heirs bypass probate court and get to your assets sooner after death. 

We are here to help you

Do you need assistance getting your Trust completed? We know it can be confusing and intimidating to start, don’t stress. We can help you get a plan in place and make sure your wishes are legally documented and that your family is protected, giving you peace-of-mind. To get started, call our office at (805) 518-9633, click below to schedule an appointment, or complete the form below and one of our team members will be in contact with you. We will help you determine whether a trust makes sense for your situation. You do not have to make these decisions alone.

Please complete this form and one of our team members will get in touch with you

Contact Us


4476 Market Street, Suite 602
Ventura, CA 93003
(805) 518-9633

2829 Townsgate Road, Suite 100
Westlake Village, CA 91361
(805) 518-9633

28015 Smyth Drive,
Valencia CA 91355

(661) 669-8472

1055 E. Colorado Blvd., Suite 500
Pasadena, CA 91106
(626) 709-2847

15615 Alton Parkway, Suite 450
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 676-6016

26565 West Agoura Rd., Suite 200
Calabasas, CA 91302
 (818) 626-3543

Serving clients throughout California Virtually 

Disclaimer: The attorneys at Hermance Law, A Professional Corporation, are licensed to practice law solely in California and meets with clients by appointment only. Nothing in this website should be taken as engaging, or offering to engage, in any activities in any jurisdiction where those activities would constitute the unauthorized practice of law or would otherwise be unlawful or improper. The materials appearing on this Website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. You should not take action based upon this information without consulting legal counsel. This site is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon any single source of information, including advertising on this Website.

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