Trust Administration

Establishing a trust goes a long way toward responsible estate planning. You can name a trusted friend or family member as the trustee or use a trust administration service. After your passing the trustee takes steps to administer, or follow, the trust document.

What is a trust?

The term trust often refers to a legal document instructing a trustee how control and transfer assets to another person or entity. The most common trusts created in estate plans are revocable living trusts. The term revocable living trust refers to a changeable document created while the trust creator (settlor or trustor) is living. The trust often directs preferences for asset management and distribution. Your trust works in conjunction with the settlor’s last will and testament.

Many people know the term trust fund, which often refers to an irrevocable trust. For example, a parent my create a dynasty trust or special needs trust for a child. The irrevocable trust is named as the beneficiary of a revocable trust or even a life insurance policy. The irrevocable trust provides legal protections to the child she could could not give herself.

Certain revocable living trusts might require assets be controlled for a child until reaching a certain age, typically 21, 25, or 30. Before that time, the trustee will be able to use the trust assets for the beneficiary and to pay for trust expenses.

Who administers a trust?

The trust will name an individual or organization as the trustee. This person or organization manages the money and other assets in the trust as well as distributing them or their residuals or dividends to the trust beneficiaries. Some financial institutions provide a department that specializes in trust administration services. Individual professional, called California licensed private fiduciaries, can also be named.

Trust Administration

After the settlor’s passing, the trustee follows the instructions in the trust document and California law to operate, or administer, the trust. Being a trustee is not easy and can be a thankless job. The trustee must act for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries while following strict timelines and controls required by law. Beneficiaries may not be aware of the limits under which the trustee operates.

We have decades of legal experience and can help the trustee to operate the trust safely and efficiently. Contact Keyes Law Group, PC to discuss trust administration.

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"I have had the pleasure of working with the Keyes Law Group these past months. To date, Mr. Keyes has been a great asset to our family; helping to plan a trust and the appropriate tax strategies for us and the next generation. What has worked very well for my wife and I is the time Mr. Keyes has devoted to not only hearing our financial planning concerns, but to also take the necessary time to explain and offer options for us to consider. We have worked with tax attorneys and financial consultants over the years. For us, a successful relationship is one of the key factors that we strive for. Working with the Keyes Law Group has been a very good fit for us as we work to get our financial affairs in order." -- RY
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"I've had the opportunity to work with Elijah for several years now. I started during a challenging situation with my mother and he was terrific. I'd say he's very responsive, reliable and exceptionally fair. Also very empathetic. It's refreshing to engage with him and feel that I'm being well taken care of and my needs are being met. His staff is also lovely and overall super accommodating." -I.S.
"It is very important to research and choose wisely when looking for an estate planning attorney. Did you know that the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization has a unique recognition for attorneys who go beyond the regular requirements to practice Estate Planning? Elijah Keyes has this designation; Certified Estate Planning Specialist. He is extremely well versed with this specific area of law and is a strong advocate for his clients in estate planning, including establishing living trusts, wealth planning and family transfers, dynasty trusts, conservatorships, special needs trusts, elder law medi-cal benefits and planning, trust administration and probate. Thank you Elijah, for being a trusted resource for us and for our clients!" -M.H.
"Keyes Law Group helped our family through a very difficult time with estate planning. He's honest, transparent and genuinely cares about his clients. His own personal experiences have shaped his approach in working with people - especially older folks who might be more mistrusting. He can finesse difficult conversations with ease and for that, I'm forever grateful. 100% recommend!" -Y.V.
"Elijah was very helpful with editing our family trust after my wife passed away. He answered all my question in a timely manner and if he did not know the answer he found out quickly. He would take time out of day to reassure me that he had everything under control. He took his time to explain why he worded the trust the way he did and that I understood what it meant. Will use him again when the trust needs to updated." -D.