I recognize that everybody grieves in their own unique way. Some families phone right away, concerned that such acts must be completed right away. Others need more time to digest and mourn and will need to wait a month or two before seeking legal counsel.
Notifying social security and ordering death certificates can be done by the mortuary where the decedent is, which are the two most important things to do right now. The Successor Trustee of the Trust would need to procure death certificates before the Trust Administration process can begin.
They can also contact an experienced trust administration attorney to schedule a meeting and hear more about their responsibilities and how the attorney can help them through this trying period. Now, read the article before you look for “trust attorney near me”.
Is it Possible for Me to Manage a Trust Without Legal Counsel?
The short response is that it’s unlikely. The primary explanation for this is that a Trustee (who is most certainly a first-time Trustee for an estate) does not understand the exact steps that must be followed and the conditions and responsibilities that come with being a Trustee.
It’s just not something that a non-specialist will know how to do or practice unless they specialize in this area. Another factor to keep in mind is that Trust Administration can be very time-consuming and almost tricky for those working, caring for others, or otherwise occupied. Because your time is precious, I suggest not wasting it by having a specialist handle the process for you.
What Documents Do I Need to Begin the California Trust Administration Process?
You may be asking what paperwork you need to bring with you to your meeting with an experienced attorney to start the Trust Administration process. The solicitor will discuss these papers with the Trustee and clarify what has to be done to better manage the trust with these documents. The below is a list of documents you may have on hand:
- Some of the decedent’s Estate Planning papers, such as their Will, Living Trust, or Powers of Attorney. (Originals are preferred, but copies are acceptable.)
- Original Death Certificates are available. (Copies Would NOT BE ENOUGH.)
- Most recent financial statements (checking plans, savings accounts, CDs, IRAs, 401ks, life insurance, stocks, bonds, and so on) and records on any real property purchased by the decedent
I’m ready to get started on the trust administration… What Do I Do Now?
If you’re only getting started in the Trust Administration process or have already started, it’s still a good idea to double-check if the Trustee is doing everything right to avoid any legal ramifications.
Give a call to a solicitor’s office today for a free consultation on trust administration. The staff will most likely do everything possible to assist your family in getting through this tough time. In fact, excited to collaborate with you!
You will select a trusts and estates lawyer that is a good match for you with a little investigation. Use your common sense and intuition. Trust your instincts.