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Trust Administration / Probate

The Law Offices of Daniel J. Cooper has more than 35 years of experience to help guide you through the process

Trust Administration
The flip side of estate planning is trust administration. You create your estate plan so as to make it as easy as possible for your loved ones when you die, and avoidance of probate is a part of that. The Law Offices of Daniel J. Cooper also specializes in the administration and distribution of trust assets.

In most cases, a husband and wife create their estate plan together, and when one of them dies, their trust may provide for the creation of sub-trusts with the division and distribution of the assets between the sub-trusts.  The primary reasons for this are to avoid (not evade) unnecessary taxes and to provide income for the surviving spouse.  Generally, the deceased spouse’s trust is irrevocable, while the trust created for the surviving spouse remains revocable.

Single or unmarried individuals may create estate plans wherein the trust becomes irrevocable upon their death, trust assets are not divided between sub-trusts, but instead are distributed directly to the trust’s beneficiaries. Situations such as this are similar to when a surviving spouse dies after the trust is divided into sub-trusts, as discussed above.

Though trust administration is a process, it is far less expensive to distribute your assets through the medium of a trust than it is to have the estate distributed by the probate court, it distributes your assets in accordance with your wishes, and generally, it takes less time from start to finish. This process includes:

  • Notification of the appropriate state
    and federal agencies of the decedent’s
    passing
  • Obtaining the Employer Identification
    Number for the irrevocable portion of the
    trust
  • Notification of trust beneficiaries of
    the decedent’s passing
  • Conveyance of estate property to the
    trust when the total estate value is less
    than $150,000.00
  • Conveyance of real property out of
    the decedent’s name into the trustee’s name,
    and to the beneficiaries upon final
    distribution
  • Sale of real property by the trustee so that
    the proceeds from the sale can be distributed
  • Marshaling of trust assets and
    final distribution
  • Preparation and filing of final estate and
    trust tax returns

Probate
Probate is what happens when you die with or without a will, and the value of your assets (excluding real property) exceeds $150,000.00. We understand California’s laws regarding probate and can help ensure that the legal and financial matters of your loved ones are followed. We can also aggressively litigate on your behalf to ensure that you are not wrongfully overlooked during the property distribution process.

The process of probate
Most executors have rarely, if ever, probated a will and they know little about the process or how involved it can be. The Law Offices of Daniel J. Cooper can help you through this process by:

  • Preparation and filing of the Petition
    for Probate with the court.
  • Filing of the will and other
    preliminary documents with the court.
  • Notification of all interested
    persons (including creditors) of the existence
    of the court action.
  • Performing the required publication of
    the notice of the court action in the newspaper.
  • Notification of the Department of Health
    Care Services, the Franchise Tax Board and
    other state agencies of the court action as
    required by law.
  • Obtaining the Employer
    Identification Number for the
    estate from the IRS.
  • Assisting the Executor in marshaling the
    assets of the estate and notifying any
    creditors.
  • Submitting the Change of
    Ownership Statement to the County
    Recorder’s office in the
    counties in which the decedent owned real property.
  • Filing a final report and accounting with
    the court and requesting an Order
    distributing the assets of the Estate to the
    beneficiaries designated in the will.
  • Attending all court hearings on behalf of
    the Executor.
  • Once the action is complete, assisting the
    Executor in distributing the estate’s assets as
    directed by the court.

When appropriate, the firm calls upon accountants, financial advisors, real estate agents, property managers and other professionals to assist with executor duties. The firm can access expert opinions about antiques, rare books, automobiles and other collectibles for accurate valuation, management and possible sale.

Free Initial Consultation
To schedule a free initial consultation, call the Law Offices of Daniel J. Cooper at (949) 859-8456
in Orange County, and at (951) 676-1896 in Riverside County today, or contact the firm online.