Trustees, Administrators, Beneficiaries And Heirs

What Is The Role Of A Trustee?

When your estate plan includes a trust, you name a trustee. As the trustmaker, also known as a trustor or grantor, you assign a person to be your trustee.

The trustee's role is to carry out the intentions of the trustor or grantor by following the terms of the trust as well as the law set out by the California Probate Code.

You may name yourself as trustee while you are alive and name a successor trustee to follow the intentions of your trust when you become incapacitated or die.

At LifePath Law, APC, in Sacramento we guide our clients to also consider selecting and naming a neutral third party such as a professional fiduciary as a trustee especially if sensitive family matters could arise.

Who Becomes An Administrator?

When a person dies without a will, or intestate, the probate court will appoint an administrator of their estate. A family member or dear friend may petition the court to become the administrator who then manages the estate during the probate process.

Starting a probate case can be a complex process. Filing a petition, notice of hearing, publication in a newspaper of general circulation, gathering assets, and preparing an inventory is just the beginning of the process for an administrator.

Our experienced attorneys at LifePath Law, APC, can provide wise counsel for you if your loved one has passed and you seek to become administrator of the estate.

What Is The Difference Between Beneficiaries And Heirs

When you and your attorney create your will or your trust, you name a beneficiary or beneficiaries who will receive property or assets you clearly define in your legal document.

A beneficiary can be a person or an entity, such as a nonprofit or charitable organization, you designate to receive certain property or assets you intend them to have.

Under the California Probate Code, an heir is a person who is related to you and entitled to receive your property and assets if you die without a will, or by intestate succession.

Your heirs include your spouse, children — or 'issue' which includes your grandchildren — your parents, your brothers and sisters, their issue, your grandparents, aunts and uncles, issue of your predeceased spouse, next of kin and on.

If you have no relatives at all, your property would become, or 'escheats', property of the state of California.

Contact us online or call LifePath Law, APC, to speak with a lawyer if you have concerns about the rights and responsibilities of trustees, administrators, beneficiaries and heirs at 916-245-1398. Serving Sacramento, Granite Bay, Rocklin and Roseville, we offer a complimentary phone consultation.