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Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Probate and Trust Administration

A Probate Lawyer That Can Guide You Through the Probate Process in Santa Barbara County and Throughout the State of California.

Most estate plans are designed to avoid probate.  However, life (and death) often get in the way and a loved one dies without a proper plan or with no plan at all.  California probate lawyer Bradley Hollister and staff will assist you in tracking down all the estate assets, giving notice to creditors, dealing with creditors, and the distribution of assets to the proper beneficiaries. Bradley Hollister services the entire State of California and gives each probate matter personal care and attention.

What are the Duties and Liabilities of You, as the Personal Representative, in a Probate Case?

In most cases, the personal representative named in the will opens the estate by filing a petition in court seeking appointment, however, in California, the petition may be filed by “any interested person.”

The personal representative has a number of legal duties, including:

  • Managing the Estate’s Assets
    • Prudently Investing and not making speculative investments.
    • Keeping estate assets separate from personal assets.
    • Making estate assets productive by, among other investments, holding assets in interest-bearing accounts.
  • Making an Inventory of Estate Property
    • Locating the estate’s property.
    • Determining the value of the estate’s property.
    • Filing a formal inventory and appraisal with the probate court.
    • Filing change of ownership reports with the County Assessor.
  • Notifying Creditors.
  • Maintaining Adequate Insurance.
  • Record Keeping.
    • Keeping accurate records of financial transaction and reporting them to the Court.

If you have been appointed as a personal representative, or would like to be so appointed, and need assistance in proceeding forward, a California probate lawyer can assist and help guide you through the entire process.

A Trust Administration Lawyer That Can Guide You Through the Trust Administration Process in Santa Barbara County and Throughout the State of California

In most cases, trust administration involves less time, money, and heartache than probate administration.  Simply put, trust administration is the legal process of administering a trust in accordance with its terms. In the context of revocable living trusts, trust administration generally refers to the period of administration that follows the death of a settlor.

If you’ve been named as successor trustee of a trust, California trust administration lawyer Bradley Hollister can help handle your trust administration, relieving you of the endless, mandatory legal procedures needed to administer the trust which include:

  • Inventorying the assets of the trust.
  • Assessing the value of the assets.
  • Filing tax Returns on behalf of the trust.
  • Notifying potential creditors.
  • Notifying beneficiaries.
  • Paying debts.
  • Attending hearings and filing court ordered reports.

What are the responsibilities of the successor trustee?

The successor trustee:

  • Has a duty to be loyal and impartial to all beneficiaries of the trust.
  • Must make sure the trust assets are in an interest bearing account that keeps the trust productive.
  • May invest in prudent opportunities.
  • Must keep the beneficiaries apprised of the trust status.
  • Must file tax returns, distribute income, keep records, and handle expenses.

For more information on successfully completing a probate or trust administration in California, please contact us.


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