Services in connection with the administration of a trust generally consist of advising and assisting the trustee, or successor trustee, in carrying out the terms of the trust, whether it be after the first or second death in a two-person trust or after the only death in a single person trust. Trustee duties usually include gathering the assets in the trust, paying debts and expenses, providing accountings to the beneficiaries, and distributing the assets either outright to beneficiaries or to subtrusts created by the decedent's trust.
If assets are not in a trust, they will generally be administered and distributed according to the decedent's instructions, whether in a will or in a contractual beneficiary designation, such as life insurance policies or pay-on-death designations in bank accounts. Services in connection with accounts with designated beneficiaries include advising and helping the trustee or executor to pay debts and expenses and to distribute the assets according to the decedent's directions.
If the total estate assets which do not have a beneficiary designation, and which are not otherwise exempt from probate, do not exceed $166,250, services include advising and helping the executor to pay debts and expenses, and to distribute the assets according to the will (if there is one) and the California Probate Code with respect to distribution of small estates without administration.
If the total estate assets which do not have a beneficiary designation, and which are not otherwise exempt from probate, exceed $166,250, services include advising and assisting the executor in full probate proceedings as provided in the California Probate Code. A full probate administration involves several steps, including asking the court to appoint the executor, publishing notice of the proceedings, marshalling, or gathering, the assets, doing an inventory and appraisal, notifying creditors, paying debts and expenses, attending various court proceedings, and preparing statutory accountings. In addition, fees are provided by statute for both the executor and the attorney in probate proceedings.
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If I can be of service to you, please contact me at (530) 809-0675.