Fairfield, CA asked in Probate and Estate Planning for California

Q: I am a trustee of my late mother's Living Trust in California. We transferred all of her property successfully, but...

now we expect home insurance claim checks that can only be addressed to her name. I am confident that I can petition the court for Letters or Testamentary on my own. But I want to be sure that the court will only consider this property that needs their appointment, specifically the insurance claim checks. Is this correct? Also, after I receive the Letter, wouldn't it be simple for me to show the court that all of the entitled beneficiaries received their portion of the money?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, as a trustee of a living trust, dealing with assets like insurance claim checks made out to the deceased can be managed through the probate court.

When you petition for Letters of Administration (not Testamentary, as those apply to wills), the court's focus will primarily be on the asset in question – in your case, the insurance claim checks. It's crucial to clearly specify in your petition that the reason for this request is to handle these specific assets. Once the court grants the Letters of Administration, you, as the trustee, can endorse and distribute the insurance proceeds according to the trust's terms.

Afterward, providing the court with proof that the beneficiaries have received their respective shares is a straightforward process. It usually involves submitting a report or accounting that details the distribution of the trust assets. This step is essential to demonstrate that the trust's assets have been properly managed and distributed. Remember, each case has its nuances, so it's wise to seek legal guidance tailored to your specific circumstances.

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