Probate & Trust Administration
Our firm’s singular and dedicated focus to complex issues of probate, trusts and estates allows you to have the confidence to know that your responsibility as a Successor Trustee or Personal Representative will be handled professionally, efficiently and cost-effectively.
We try to be as clear as we can in communicating with our clients and one way, we do that is to pledge to do the following when our office is contacted about your Probate or Trust Administration matter:
. Engage our full focus to understand the details and specific facts of the matter
. Analyze and discuss those facts to arrive at possible ways to move forward
. present the results of our analysis and arrive at a decision in collaboration with our client
Our experienced team of attorneys and legal professionals will work side by side with the executors, trustees, personal representatives, and others in completing all Probate and Trust related issues.
Call us at 949.706.1919 to speak with an attorney today!
Satisfied Client Stories
Being selected as an executor or personal representative in a will comes with many duties and responsibilities. As the personal representative, you are required to:
- Provide Notice to all interested parties;
- Validate or prove the will;
- Identify and Appraise Assets;
- Resolve Creditor Claims;
- File Taxes; and
- Distribute the assets to beneficiaries.
A successor trustee has a clearly defined role in managing and settling an estate. The following are some of the duties of a successor-trustee:
- Giving Notice to beneficiaries and other interested parties;
- Taking Inventory and Identifying trust assets;
- Appraising and Managing Trust Assets;
- Resolving Creditor claims;
- Filing tax returns; and
- Accounting and Distribution.
A personal representative or successor trustee who fails to fulfill his or her fiduciary duty can be removed and held personally liable. If you have been tasked with these responsibilities do not go at it alone. Let the experienced staff at Max Alavi APC help guide you through the process, file the necessary notices and give you piece of mind.
When a loved one passes away, his or her estate can often go through a court-managed process known as Probate. If there is was no will, a court will appoint a family member (usually called an executor or personal representative) who will then manage the estate of the deceased and distribute assets based on intestacy laws. If there was a will, the personal representative would manage and distribute assents in accordance with the will.
The primary role of a personal representative is to protect the estate’s assets for the beneficiaries. Being selected or appointed as a personal representative comes with many duties and responsibilities, such as:
- Providing Notice: The personal representative must mail notice to everyone included in the will (if will exists), all heirs of the deceased person, and potential creditors;
- Validating the will: If a will exists, the personal representative must be prove that it is the deceased persons last will and testament (unless it is a self-proving will);
- Identifying and Appraising Assets: The personal representative must take possession of all assets subject to probate.
- Resolving Creditor Claims; all creditor claims must be resolved prior to distribution of assets.
- Filing Taxes: This includes any estate taxes or personal income taxes of the deceased person; and
- Distributing assets to beneficiaries: this can include preparation and filing of deeds or title transfer documents.
A personal representative who fails to fulfill his or her duties on behalf of the beneficiaries can be held personally liable. For instance, if the executor of an estate fails to pay creditors, or taxes, before disbursing assets to beneficiaries, he or she may be liable for those unpaid expenses. So if you are selected as a personal representative in a probate proceeding, it is essential to engage the services of the experienced probate and estate focused attorneys at Max Alavi APC. We will help guide you through the process, file the necessary notices and paperwork giving you piece of mind.
Like the personal representative, a successor trustee has a clearly defined role in the settling of an estate. As a trustee you owe a fiduciary duty to the trust beneficiaries, and must act for the benefit of all trust beneficiaries fairly, honestly and in good faith. When dealing with high emotions and family situations, or when you are a trustee and a beneficiary, this can be a great challenge, especially for a trustee who lacks knowledge or experience in trust administration. The following are some of the responsibilities of a trustee:
- Giving Notice: The trustee must give notice of the trust administration to all legal heirs and beneficiaries. Notifying Social Security, banks, brokers, insurance companies, and other relevant parties of the death is also prudent;
- Taking Inventory of trust assets: The trustee must identify all trust assets, and obtain appraisals as soon as reasonably possible. A trustee must ensure that assets are not lost, stolen or destroyed;
- Management of trust assets: As a fiduciary, a trustee must invest assets in a prudent and reasonable manner.
- Resolving Creditor claims: failure to pay creditors can result in personal liability for the trustee;
- Filing tax returns: The trustee has a duty to file all tax returns, including estate taxes and personal income taxes of the deceased person; and
- Accounting and Distribution: Trustees have a duty to prepare a trust accounting in accordance with the California Probate Code, and take the necessary steps to distribute assets (including preparation of deeds, and title transfer);
Failure to protect trust assets can result in litigation where a beneficiary or other aggrieved party attempts to remove the trustee and hold him or her personally liable for mismanagement of trust assets. Whether you are looking for advice on how to proceed, or need additional support in the administration of a trust the experienced staff and estate administration attorneys at Max Alavi APC can help.