Trust Admin. & Probate Law
Trust Administration and Probate Law
During a time of grief and financial turmoil following the death of a loved one, we assist our clients in navigating through the complex Probate and Trust Administration process while helping to ensure that their loved one’s wishes are taken into account and the deceased’s family and friends are provided for according to the terms of the deceased’s Will, Trust instrument, and the law.
In addition, we assist our clients with Beneficiary Representation, Guardianships and Conservatorships.
Like probate, the goal of trust administration is typically to transfer property from an individual who has passed away to that individual’s beneficiaries who are identified in a revocable living trust. Unlike probate, trust administration is typically not a court-supervised process, and is more private and typically significantly less costly to the estate. Even though the administration of a trust is typically not court-supervised, trustees have a legal fiduciary duty to properly administer the trust, and failure to fully comply with the law could result in legal and financial risk to the trustee.
Unfortunately, the rights of beneficiaries during the probate of an estate or trust administration may occasionally be violated. Sometimes an executor or trustee will breach their fiduciary duty by self-dealing, commingling estate or trust assets, failing to provide a full accounting of the assets, failing to preserve the assets of the estate or trust, failing to remaining impartial as to how they treat beneficiaries, or failing to property distribute assets in accordance with the terms of the Last Will and Testament or revocable living trust. When this happens, the estate or trust beneficiaries often require legal assistance to enforce their rights.
Many California children are legally cared for by guardians instead of parents, domestic partners or stepparents. Becoming a guardian means that you are responsible for providing adequate care and nurturing of the child in a positive environment. The Court will investigate your background to verify that there are no detrimental factors such as drug use or violence that could cause harm to the child. We help our clients through the complex process of becoming the legal guardian of a child or objecting to a legal guardianship.
If you have a loved one who has not completed sufficient estate planning, and who is now no longer able to care for themselves or to look after their finances, then you may need to establish a conservatorship. We assist our clients with this sensitive and complex process.