We are frequently asked: “What happens to assets held in a living trust when those assets are inherited by the beneficiaries? What procedures are required to terminate the trust and to transfer assets to beneficiaries?”
While living trusts are designed to avoid the Probate process, there are still a number of legal administrative steps that must be handled by the successor trustee. We do our best to make the process as easy as possible by:
- Clearly explaining the process and steps involved to the successor trustee.
- Providing advice and instruction on funeral/cremation issues, tax issues and required returns, which bills should be paid and when and by whom, how to access bank accounts, how to get on title for investment accounts and real estate.
- Notifying beneficiaries under Probate Code §16061.7.
- Sending beneficiary memos to keep beneficiaries apprised of the status, easing the burden on the trustee.
- Obtaining new tax IDs and assisting the trustee with changes of title.
- Preparing Assessor forms and Parent Child Property Tax Exclusion forms.
- Providing Beneficiary Receipts and Releases.
- Preparing required trust accountings and providing to the beneficiaries.
- Lodging (or filing) the Last Will and Testament with the court as required by law (which does not require a probate but is required under Probate Code §8200.
- Assisting with final distribution letters and closing of accounts.
We understand that handling the affairs of a loved one is a challenging task for many reasons, and that as you are moving through the legal requirements you may also be grieving the loss of your loved one. We offer you our compassion and experience to help make the trust administration flow smoothly and finish quickly.