Trusts

Trusts

Trusts are among the most useful estate tools for families who want to avoiding probate in California.   The creation of the trust by a trustor is an act of caring for those who are left behind by the trustor’s death. It is meant as means to provide for others, and to restrict or control the distribution of the assets which are placed in the trust.   The trustor or settlor generally retains control of the assets of the family trust and is his or her own trustee during his/her life time.

WHO TAKES CARE OF TRUSTS BEFORE DEATH?

Generally, before the trust creator (settlor) dies, he or she is the trustee of his own trust and manages the assets of the trust as long as he or she is competent.  Simply put, when you create a trust, you are its own trustee while you are well.  If the settlor becomes incapacitated or resign as a trustee, the person he has trusted as his successor trustee steps up and manages the family trust assets which are in the trust.

WHO TAKES CARE OF THE TRUST AFTER DEATH OR INCAPACITY?

When you create a trust, you name the next trust manager (called successor trustee) in your trust document.   So, you would want to name a trustworthy person to take care of things.  This is usually a family member, but can be a professional fiduciary or a bank, if you believe it is best for your situation.

WHAT IS THE JOB DESCRIPTION OF THE SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE?

After death or incapacity of the person who creates a trust (also referred to as “trustor” or “settlor”), a successor trustee is informally manages the assets of the trust, pays taxes, and disburses expenses and manages the trust assets according to the terms of the trust.  While the settlor is still alive, those assets are usually only used for his benefit.  After the settlor dies, the successor trustee notifies the trust beneficiaries, and then after all expenses and taxes are paid, distributes the assets of the trust to the persons designated as beneficiaries in the trust.  The successor trustee is a fiduciary to the beneficiary, and must put the interests of the beneficiaries ahead of his own.

There are important notifications (called the Probate Code 16061.7 Notification by Trustee) . which are required after a trust owner dies.   Also, there are methods to cut short the creditor claim periods in trusts.   Contact Trust attorneys Sirkin Law for the best methods in handling notices by the trustee and creditors.

Should you need living trust information in Los Angeles, contact Mina Sirkin at 818.340.4479.

HOW TO AVOID TRUST LITIGATION  – TRUST MEDIATION HELPS

Multiple trust amendments increase the risk of litigation when done late in life, as do multiple restatements.  Trusts are litigated often. If you are concerned about the future of your family and want your heirs to void feuds about your estate, call our Trusts attorney.  If you are considering amending your trust, or restating your trust, call Mina Sirkin, Trust attorney in Los Angeles, who is a Board Certified Specialist in Trusts who can assist you in determining the best course of action for your trust.  Call: 818.340.4479 or email: Info@SirkinLaw.com.  Visit our living trust attorney’s resume at http://sirkinlaw.com/attorneys.html