Administration of a trust or an estate, in California, requires great focus and attention to the California probate code. While many are quick to accept the responsibility of being a trustee or an executor for a loved one, close friend, or business associate, those who do are often unfamiliar with the fiduciary duties involved in estate and trust administration, which can lead to some costly mistakes. Take a look at these major mistakes you can avoid making during trust administration as a trustee or as an executor of a probate estate.
Mistake: Opting to handle trust administration without attorney guidance.
The California laws regarding trust administration are not hard to find, so it is easy to assume that simply following the due processes will be simple enough without the aid of an attorney. However, working with an estate or trust attorney through the major fiduciary duties will help you avoid mistakes, sort through all the paperwork and red tape, and ensure you are not held personally liable for mishandling trust assets.
Mistake: Failing to notify creditors.
Before a probate estate is distributed to beneficiaries, creditors still owed must be paid. It is the responsibility of the executor or personal representative to see to it that creditors are notified of the death of the debtor and probate filings so claims can be made against the estate. If creditors are not paid because of a failure of the failure to give proper notice, the executor or personal representative can be held personally liable.
If you have been appointed as the administrator of an estate or trust, do not hesitate to reach out to Louis Pacella, a California attorney experienced in estate laws who focuses on client-centered guidance and representation. Reach out for a free initial consultation to help counsel you through the processes you are facing as trust administrator.