Trust Administration

Once the Grantor (individual(s) that created a Trust) dies, then the trust agreement becomes Irrevocable, and the trust administration process begins and ultimately, trust asset distribution for the Trust beneficiaries.

Who Is a Trustee

The person entrusted with the responsibilities and management of the trust assets is called a Trustee. The Trustee holds a very important position, one of fiduciary capacity, which means the trust creator has entrusted you with safekeeping and investment management of the Trust funds. Ultimately, if you do not carry out your fiduciary duties under the law and according to the trust agreement, you may be held personally liable and sued.

That’s why it’s so crucial to hire our firm to represent you for your own protection as a trustee and proper advice on your role and duties as a trustee.


A Trustee’s Roles & Responsibilities

In general, a trustee has a fiduciary duty to administer the trust solely in the interest of the beneficiaries and to deal with them impartially.

Additionally, the trustee cannot use any of the trust property for their own profit or any purpose not expressly listed in the trust. The trustee also cannot enter into any transaction that would create a conflict of interest between the trustee and the trust or a trust beneficiary.

Rest assured that you are not alone in your role as trustee. Our firm is experienced and knowledgeable and ready to assist you in competently accomplishing the steps involved in administering the trust agreement.

Important Steps of Trust Administration


Locate estate planning documents


Collect other important documents such as insurance policies, real estate deeds, car titles, bank and investment account statements, and tax returns


Determine whether there are any debts to be paid


Provide Notice to beneficiaries


Prepare property valuations and appraisals


File all the necessary tax returns and pay any taxes due


Maintain the trust accounting, which the Trust beneficiaries are entitled to


Prepare deeds and other transfer documents to beneficiaries, restructure assets for equalization of distribution, and oversee real estate transactions


Establish subtrusts for beneficiaries such as lifetime asset protection trusts and special needs trusts, and trustee advisement in the ongoing administration thereof

Based on 43 reviews
I engaged the services of Ms. Sowards in July of 2022 for the purpose of drawing up my will and establishing my living trust. She carried these out to the highest standards, thus relieving me of a major concern. I highly recommend her to my friends, acquaintances, and anyone else who need this done.
Jerry Young
Jerry Young
Julie was phenomenal in helping me administer my great grandfathers trust. Her steps were easy to follow and I look forward to forming my own trust with her.
Terry F
Terry F
By Terry F... Having grown up as an only child I never felt a sense of urgency to address my parent's trust when they passed since I didn't have any siblings to complicate matters - boy was I wrong! When I finally got around to it, I was surprised to learn that the assumption that they had a trust plus Prop 13 on my side was going to make it easy was waaay off base. From the time my parents passed away and my addressing their estate, you can imagine my shock when I learned that Prop 13 was not a guarantee of a smooth transfer of assets due to a multitude of legislation including Prop 58 and Prop 19. A reassessment of property values and corresponding tax bills can easily be triggered by how applications are submitted. (e.g. Parent to Child Exclusion, Death of a Cotenant, etc. ). Fortunately, I had Team Julie on my side and they knew when to "zig" and when to "zag". From the outset I knew that if we were to battle the county and state, Julie would go to war for me. She successfully navigated properties with different circumstances around obstacles that could have easily resulted in reassessment. If someone has what you deem to be a simple transfer (like I did) or a complicated one, I strongly urge you to meet with Julie. I trust Team Julie because she is genuinely concerned for my family's best interests. Her office is also quick to respond to questions - she is not part of a big conglomerate, she is part of the community! Best~Terry F
Linda Barnes
Linda Barnes
Julie is so knowledgable and nice to work with. The office staff are friendly and very efficient.
Frank Liu
Frank Liu
A friend at work recommended Julie for estate planning. She is a pleasure to work with, extremely knowledgeable and professional, and supported by a great staff. Visiting Julie in person and seeing the completely encompassing trust documents that she put together really made me realize why it is better to spend a bit more money up-front to work with a lawyer in person as opposed to trying to do trust/estate planning online. Highly recommended.
Ramji Pilapakam
Ramji Pilapakam
We had kept delaying setting up the trust primarily because of the anxiety of dealing with all the paperwork and uncertainty. We met Julie out of sheer chance, but what an opportune meeting that was! She answered all the preliminary questions I had and patiently guided us through the entire process of setting up the trust while giving us the time and space needed to make important decisions. Her knowledge clearly shines through and you can tell she really does care. Overall, it was a fantastic experience!
Suzanne Holmes
Suzanne Holmes
My husband and I needed to combine our separate trusts into one, and I cannot emphasize enough what a wonderful job Julie Sowards did for us. We appreciate the professionalism and friendliness that we encountered from the moment we met her. Her intelligence and knowledge of legal matters is impressive. She was always prompt and responsive, even replying to questions late in the evening and early in the morning. Our trust is solid thanks to her, and we appreciate all of her advice. My husband and I know that our heirs will not have any problems when our estate is settled, and our wishes will be carried out as stated because Julie created an estate planning portfolio that details everything. Julie gets our highest recommendation. She earned all five stars!
Joseph Robles
Joseph Robles
I cannot express how eternally grateful our family is with Julie--we could not be happier with her...Julie is a godsend. I was overwhelmed in the confusion when my Mother fell ill, and I was in a panic in the attempt of assuring my Mother's assets were properly managed as they were of paramount importance to her. Julie made a weekend accomodation and walked us through the process with great attention, assurance, and patience while sitting besides my Mother in her hospital bed. Julie was fully engaged and made sure our concerns were addressed thoroughly while offering relief that we were in good and compassionate hands. Additionally, her assistant Maureen was such an excellent, valuable secondary resource--Maureen was always available to answer ancillary questions, and just warmly engaging. We highly recommend Julie and her practice without hesitation, as the entire process was diligently professional and, importantly, brought a comforting peace of mind.