A successor trustee in California has many responsibilities. A successor trustee is someone who steps into the role of the grantor, who is the person who established a trust after that person passes away.
One of the biggest actions you may need to take as a successor trustee is selling the grantor’s home. Selling a home is a complex process under any circumstance and going through it while taking on all of your other duties can be stressful, particularly if there are also disputes between beneficiaries or family members involved.
Overall, the sale process works basically the same as it would if you were the homeowner. As a successor trustee, you may not be entitled to receive all of the same seller disclosures as you would if you were the original owner.
Have a copy of the trust ready
Having complete and correct documents increases the chances of the sale process going smoothly. A full copy of the trust is necessary because it must be placed in escrow.
It is a good idea to identify and locate all required documents before starting the sale process. This will help avoid delays or disruptions at the end of the process. One commonly overlooked document is the affidavit of death, which must be recorded before the sale process can be completed.
Ask for assistance if you need it
Making major decisions and fulfilling your duties as a successor trustee can feel overwhelming, especially while you are also dealing with the loss of your loved one. Fortunately, you do not have to go through things alone.
Experienced attorneys provide advice and guidance to successor trustees, helping them make sure all tasks are properly completed and communicating information to beneficiaries. This allows you time to heal and grieve for your loved one while adhering to your fiduciary duty to act in good faith.