Hi there, Bridget Mackay here, I live in Petaluma, California and I have a practice in estate planning and elder law, I’m an attorney, and I want to talk to you a little bit today about trust administration.
This would be a situation in which you find yourself being named as the trustee in your parent’s trust or your sibling’s trust, or your friend’s trust and you’ve been told that you are, hopefully, before this ever happened, that you are that person, and hopefully you have a copy of the document. But what are some of the first basic steps you need to go through once this person has had their memorial service and funeral. Well, one of the very most first important things you need to do is find yourself a qualified estate planning attorney, because those are the folks that are going to help you through this process, and it is a process. It has rules that are governed by the probate code here in California, it’s the California probate code.
There are rules that are governed by the document that your person left behind and wrote hopefully with an attorney, and you will need to follow them because now you have a fiduciary responsibility, it’s a big word, I know, but basically what it means is you can’t mess up, you’ve have to treat this money, and treat this estate and the beneficiaries in it with… You have to have conservative investments, you have to treat the beneficiaries equally, there’s a lot of responsibilities in that role, and you want to be clear on what those are. So that’s the first thing to do, is contact an attorney. Of course an attorney tells you to contact an attorney, but it really is true in this case, and then from there they’ll give you the next steps, how to liquidate assets, how to find the beneficiaries, how to produce an accounting for them, how to distribute it out when the time comes. And any other thing along the way they’ll be able to prepare and guide you in. So if you are that person then get online and Google a qualified estate planning attorney.