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Trust Administration / Probate


Here at Ascendant, we understand the emotional heartbreak when a love one dies. We believe it is our job to carry the legal burdens, so you can grieve as you need to grieve, during an incredibly difficult period of life. You may choose to immediately start the trust administration or probate process or wait until emotions have subsided, but in most cases, we encourage you to go at your own pace. Ascendant has lawyers, and paralegals that administer trust and probate estates—from very large and complex—to small and simple.

Trust Administration

Trust Administration simply is the management and distribution of trust property according to the terms of a trust agreement. To effectively administer a trust many safeguards are required to protect the trustee and beneficiaries of the Trust. Depending upon the particular trust agreement and assets the administration process can include:

  • Compliance with California Statutory Notice Requirements to beneficiaries and heirs
  • Obtaining a Federal Tax Identification Number for the trust, and its sub trusts
  • Recordation of Affidavits concerning Real Property in order to clear title
  • Completion and Submission of Change of Ownership Form for Real Property
  • Additionally complete any Exclusion from Reassessment to claim any Parent to Child Property Tax Exemptions
  • Review debts and ensure all liabilities have been fulfilled including the requirements of filing a Federal Estate Tax Form 706, Trust Income Tax Returns, and Form 8971
  • Drafting and serving Notices of Proposed Action to protect the Trustee for the handling of the Trust Estate
  • Inventory and Allocate the Trust Estate pursuant to the Terms of the Trust
  • Compiling and providing any Required Trust Accountings to the beneficiaries
  • Distribution of the Trust Estate pursuant to the terms of the Trust
  • Preparing Receipts and Releases for the Trustee


Probate is the court-supervised process of marshaling and distributing assets of a decedent. Probate is completed either: (1) through the administration of a Will, or (2) if a loved one passed away without a Will, their Estate will be administered pursuant to the California Statutory Laws of Intestacy. Whichever situation applies to you, Ascendant has attorneys and paralegals to assist in the Probate Administration process and this may include:

  • Selection of the Proper Court to file the Petition for Probate, and arranging for the Publication of the Petition within the local newspaper, as required by California Probate Code
  • Filing of a Spousal Property Petition, if required
  • Obtaining statutory “Letters” from the Court to authorize the Personal Representative to Administer the Estate
  • Providing the Statutory Notice to Creditors, filing of any Creditors Claims, and defend claims. Additionally, assisting the Personal Representative in paying final bills of the Estate and coordinate the filing of the final Federal Estate Tax Returns, and ensuring
  • Form 8971 is filed
  • Filing of a Petition to Confirm the Sale of Real Property
  • Complete and File the Final Distribution Petition to obtain the Court Order authorizing the Personal Representative to Distribute the Estate to the Beneficiaries