Are there any time limitations for filing documents regarding distribution of assets from a Trust or Will?

UPDATED: Aug 30, 2011

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Are there any time limitations for filing documents regarding distribution of assets from a Trust or Will?

My father passed away almost 3 years ago (mother several years earlier). Everything was basically left for my sister and I to split. There is a house, shares of a few properties and several investments involved. My sister is the Trustee. Unfortunately, she is the type that never hurries things along (I’ve had to give her a push a few times and even requested documents/statements so that I could do the research). The property tax on the house is low due to Prop 13 (not sure if it would be reassessed if any deed changes were made).

Asked on August 30, 2011 California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Different states in this country have different requirements for the administration of a trust estate from a time perspective as a suggestion, but there is no hard time period to do so. The issue pushing the closing of an estate is whether or not there will be any income taxes and estate taxes due under state and federal law.

The longer an estate continues undistributed, the more tax returns for each year the estate continues existing will need to be filed requiring more work and expenditures of money for these returns.

If your sister needs assistance getting the trust estate adminsitsered, you should offer to asisst her. To transfer real property formerly belonging to your parents into the names of the trust's beneficiaries in California, all that needs to be done is obtain certified copies of your parents' death certificates and attach them to an affidavit of successor trustee signed before a notary public and record it on the property stating that under the name of the designated trust the named beneficiary is now its owner.

I suggest your sister retain a wills and trust attorney to assist in getting the trust administered and closed out.

Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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