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Trust Administration

Sacramento Attorney:
Trust Administration and Repair

Proper trust administration is essential to avoid probate and even excessive inheritance taxes. As an attorney, it is my job to see that my client receives the probate and inheritance tax exclusions a living trust was designed to provide. Necessary trust administration services include changing title to assets, preserving the federal estate tax exclusion amount and seeing that the handling of the trust complies with state law. Major assets, including real estate and business interests, will need to be appraised and inventoried. The trustee also needs to file a number of state and federal estate tax and income tax returns. Some trusts, such as A-B trusts, are irrevocable and the surviving spouse must file additional returns to verify that the exemption trust meets federal and state requirements. I work closely with my client's accountant or financial advisor throughout the entire process if needed.

Trust repair: Clients often come into my office, confused and unhappy, carrying a trust prepared by another lawyer. Those documents, along with over-the-counter trust documents, tend to be unnecessarily long and difficult to understand. In most cases, I can repair the document and make it work, clarifying my client's intent by the addition of clear and simple language. I can also verify that the attorney transferred assets properly during the process of establishing the trust. Even if your trust documents are lost or destroyed, I can assist you in replacing them.

In a case where the trustor or trustee becomes incompetent or is unable to discharge duties for some other reason, I will prepare an affidavit of change of trustee, adding a son, daughter or other person as a co-trustee. If requested by your bank, I will also prepare an affidavit of death of a trustee or any other document required by your financial institution. It is always my goal to keep my client out of court, avoiding the expense, publicity and delay involved in litigation.

If you would like to discuss trust administration or have another question about my firm, please call (916) 248-4465 or e-mail my Sacramento, California, office to arrange a consultation.

Michael A. Sawamura, Attorney at Law

My Sacramento law practice, Michael A. Sawamura, Attorney at Law, focuses on wills, trusts and estate planning law in addition to business law and corporate defense services. My clients include professionals, government employees, small businesses, blue-collar workers and national corporations.