Posts Tagged ‘trust administration in orange county’
Friday, October 19th, 2012
There is a certain amount of responsibility that goes along with wills/trust administration in Orange County. For this reason, it is vital to choose someone very trustworthy to take on this important role. While some individuals will likely see it as an honor to be chosen, it can also be quite a burden, so it is highly recommended that the potential trustee be contacted in advance and asked if he or she is willing and able to take on the role.
If you find yourself in charge of trust administration or are in the process of trying to choose an appropriate trustee for your own estate, here are some very important aspects of the job that should be at the top of your list of responsibilities.
- The person in charge of trust administration must be able to be impartial. This means that family feuds, sibling rivalries, and other real or imagined slights cannot be allowed to interfere with the fair and honest administration of the trust.
- The trust assets should be insured, and if they are lost or destroyed due to the trustees’ negligence, he or she can be held liable. It is also the trustee’s responsibility to file and pay taxes for the trust and take care of other trust-related expenses.
- He or she is responsible for ensuring that the trust produces income. That means that the money can’t just sit in a checking account; rather it needs to be invested wisely so that it generates income for the beneficiaries. The trustee also distributes this income to the beneficiaries.
- Speaking of investments, many states require the trustee to make prudent choices when it comes to those investments. It is usually helpful to speak with an attorney in Orange County or financial advisor in order to make wise decisions and to find out what specific regulations apply here in California. In fact, it is the trustee’s responsibility to use his or her best judgment to choose an investment agent to delegate investments to if the trustee isn’t qualified to choose them on his or her own.
- The beneficiaries of the trust must be informed of the activity of the trust. This includes informing them of the trust and the trustee’s role in it, supplying required documentation when requested, and providing all beneficiaries with an annual statement of the accounts.
- The person in charge of trust administration must be able to avoid conflicts of interest and cannot make decisions that favor the trustee over other beneficiaries.
Proper trust administration in Orange County requires a combination of personal integrity, business savvy, and interpersonal skills. When choosing a trustee or accepting the position, it is a good idea to speak with a wills and trust attorney in Orange County to ensure that you fully understand the responsibilities that accompany the position.
Friday, March 23rd, 2012
Those who provide wills and trust administration in Orange County field a variety of questions. After all, providing information is a big part of what lawyers do. There are many important aspects to creating your will in order to ensure that it will hold up in court when the time comes. Wills and trust administration is a whole lot easier when the decedent has made sure to comply with all of the applicable laws.
One area to consider in creating a valid, enforceable will is who your witnesses will be. States differ on the number of witnesses required, most mandating either two or three. Here in California, it is necessary to have 2 witnesses to help ensure the validity of your document and make the administration of your wills and trusts run smoothly.
Why Are Witnesses Necessary?
The courts require witnesses for a very specific reason. These people are able to state that you were of sound mind when you signed the will. This helps remove any doubt that could later slow down the administration of your will. It is much harder for someone to contest the will based on your state of mind when there are 2 witnesses able to testify that you had clear intentions and the ability to make them known.
Because the witnesses could conceivably be called upon to testify to this fact, it makes sense to choose people who are likely to survive you. Someone younger and in good health would be the best choice. In addition, your witnesses should be credible. If called on to testify, will they be taken at their word?
Choose the Right Witnesses
In addition to being credible, there are other criteria you and your lawyer should take into consideration such as the person’s relationship to you and to the will. If he or she stands to profit much from an inheritance, it can make their involvement suspicious or less credible. Even if it doesn’t cause a conflict of interest, it creates the appearance of one. In fact, some states don’t allow beneficiaries to act as witnesses at all, while others limit the amount they can receive. Work with an estate attorney in Southern California to ensure that your witnesses fit statewide guidelines.
In order for the administration of your will in Orange County to go smoothly, it makes sense to create it as airtight as possible. Obviously, choosing witnesses can play an important role. There are a few other things to discuss with your lawyer in those regards. For example, do you and your witnesses need to sign the will in front of each other? Will the witnesses actually read the will or just sign it to assert that it is truly yours? Finally, how do you choose witnesses that won’t cause problems when it comes time for the administration to happen?
Your Orange County trusts and estates attorney can help you answer such questions and sign your will in such a way that best protects you and your interests. For help getting started creating your will or trust, call our Newport Beach estate planning law firm at (949) 260-1400 and ask if you qualify for a Free Family Wealth Planning Session with the mention of this article ($750 value).
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