Santa Barbara Estate Services Adds Licensure and Certifications to Credentials

Lindsay Leonard of Santa Barbara Estate Services became a licensed California Professional Fiduciary this year and earned certifications in Professional Fiduciary Management for Conservators and for Trustees. She also became a National Certified Guardian and joined the Professional Fiduciary Association of California. These credentials will allow her to enhance the scope of services offered to existing clients and expand her practice to a wider audience.

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Trustee Duties: Enforcing Claims and Defending Actions

This is the third article in a series detailing the duties of a trustee. We have explored the duty of a trustee to comply with the terms of the trust instruments as well as the duties to control trust property and make it productive. This time I will address the duty to enforce claims the trust has against others and to defend actions against the trust. Before taking on the responsibility of acting as a trustee it is crucially important that you fully understand all the legal duties that come with the job.

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Trustee Duties Continued: Preservation and Productivity

Last newsletter I covered the duty of a trustee to comply with the terms of the trust instruments. This time I will address the duty to control the trust property as well as make the property productive. This means that the trustee has a legal obligation to ensure that the trust not only maintains value but also increases in value as appropriate within the terms set out by the trust instruments.

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Communication is Key

Estate planning does not begin and end with drawing up a will or trust. It encompasses the entire process of communicating to your loved ones how you would like to leave your affairs. Unfortunately, it is all too common for a family to become bitterly divided after a death. Survivors file lawsuits and engage in nasty behavior rather than celebrate the life of the deceased. Proper communication during the estate planning process can help avoid these problems. However, because this can be an emotional time people are often reluctant to have these conversations.

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