Trust administration in California involves the management and distribution of assets held within a trust following the death of the trust creator (settlor) or during their lifetime if they become incapacitated. Unlike probate, which involves court oversight, trust administration typically occurs outside of the court system, offering a more efficient and private method of transferring assets to beneficiaries. The trustee, appointed by the settlor or named in the trust document, is responsible for administering the trust according to its terms, which may include investing assets, paying debts and taxes, and distributing property to beneficiaries.

In California, trustees have fiduciary duties to act in the best interests of the trust and its beneficiaries, which entails providing accurate accounting, timely communication, and prudent management of trust assets. While trust administration can be less formal than probate, trustees must still adhere to state laws and regulations governing trusts, including notice requirements and tax obligations. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney experienced in trust administration can help trustees navigate the process efficiently and ensure compliance with California laws while fulfilling their duties effectively.

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