Trust administration, simply put, is the process of managing and distributing trust assets. It’s a process undertaken by the “Trustee” (i.e. the person put in charge of managing trust assets in the trust document) for the benefit of the “Trustor” (i.e. the person who established the trust) while he/she is alive, and for the benefit of the remainder beneficiaries after the Trustor passes away.
It’s also a process that imposes a fiduciary duty (i.e. the highest standard of care) on the Trustee, and thus a process for which a Trustee would be wise to engage a trust attorney Carlsbad CA for assistance, primarily to keep the Trustee free of legal liability to the Trustor and to the trust’s beneficiaries.
Generally speaking, a “trust administration” does not kick in to gear until the Trustor has been deemed to lack capacity or has passed away. Until such event, the Trustor usually acts as his/her own Trustee, owing a fiduciary duty to no one but him/herself – thus leaving very little to do in terms of “trust administration”. Upon the Trustor’s incapacity, or in the event of his/her death, however, the Trust instrument usually provides for a family member, friend or trusted advisor to take over as Trustee.
In the case of death of the Trustor, where there are few Trust assets, few beneficiaries and/or few conflicts among such beneficiaries, the trust administration may run its course in a matter of only months; whereas in the event of incapacity of the Trustor, or death of the Trustor where there are many Trust assets, many beneficiaries and/or many conflicts among such beneficiaries, the trust administration may run for years.