Trust administration is a process to ensure that the assets of a trust are properly administered by the trustee and distributed to the intended beneficiaries. This process applies to any party who is named in a trust. Most of the time, this is either the trustee or the beneficiaries.
When a trust becomes irrevocable, the trustee has several obligations that he or she must actively pursue. Most, if not all of those duties, will be outlined in the trust itself. However, there are additional duties imposed from California statutes. One such duty is that the trustee must notify any interested parties of the passing of the settlor.
If you are the beneficiary of a trust and the trustee has not notified you of the passing of the settlor, then you should contact an attorney to discuss your rights and options. Additionally, if you are the beneficiary of a trust and you believe that the trustee has not meet the required obligations, has been using the funds inappropriately, or is not making the required distributions, then you should contact an attorney immediately to protect the trust assets.
If you are the trustee of a trust, there are many ways to get in trouble, including if you decide not to anything at all. Unless you have prior experience or have been professionally trained as a trustee, you should consult the help of experts. You will need to have someone who can help you with the proper procedures for accounting, filing taxes, keeping proper records, and complying with statutory time requirements. Usually the trust will provide funds to hire such experts and nothing will come out of your pocket. However, if you make a mistake, you could be held personally liable and have to shell out your hard-earned money and savings.
No matter if you are a trustee, a beneficiary, or in some way involved in a trust, you should consult an attorney to make sure your rights are protected before any statutory deadlines expire.