Primuth & Driskell, LLP advises and assists trustees in carrying out their administrative functions and helps them plan for efficient, tax-sensitive trust administration.
When the creator of a living trust dies, the successor trustee must step in to carry out the trust’s instructions and perform certain tax-related functions. If a living trust has been properly designed, funded and updated, post death estate administration will usually be a relatively smooth process.
Trust administration is an umbrella term that includes many different and necessary tasks such as: notifying beneficiaries and heirs of the trust, inventorying and appraising trust assets, handling ancillary probate matters (spousal property petitions, “Heggstad” petitions and independent administration petitions), funding sub-trusts, making distributions, and complying with estate, gift, income and real property tax requirements.
The goals of trust administration are to:
- Properly divide and distribute the estate according to the trust’s terms and the deceased trust creator’s wishes.
- Comply with California law on trustee’s duties and trust administration, including prudent financial management.
- Develop a plan to meet the financial needs of the long term beneficiaries.
- Assist with compliance with tax laws while minimizing taxes payable, which includes the ‘big five’ taxes: estate, gift, income (capital gain), generation-skipping and real estate taxes.