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By: Scott Grossman on September 15th, 2016

How to Find the Assets That Belong to a Trust

Early on in the trust administration process, the successor trustee of the trust is charged with the responsibility of identifying the trust assets. This means that the trustee must find the assets belonging to the decedent or the trust at the time of his or her death. This may seem like an obvious and relatively straightforward task. In practice, however, identifying the trust assets may require some detective work. Fortunately, you do not have to navigate this process along. An experienced attorney can help you utilize some of the common tips for finding assets.

Seven Ways to Identify Trust Assets

What are some of the ways that a trustee can find the assets belonging to the trust? The following are seven suggestions:

  1. Review the trust instrument. Some trusts contain a schedule that lists out all of the assets that were held in the trust.
  2. Determine whether your loved one left behind a financial statement that outlines his or her assets.
  3. Conduct a property search in various counties throughout California to find any real estate holdings in the area.
  4. Review your loved one’s tax returns to locate some of the assets.
  5. Review the mail they may be receiving. The mail can contain account statements, dividend checks, and other documents that reveal the assets that were on hold.
  6. Consult with your loved one’s attorney and CPA. These individuals may have a sense as to what assets were held by your loved one.
  7. If you are still concerned that there may be unidentified assets out there, consider hiring a private asset search firm. These companies will do the legwork to try and identify the assets belonging to your loved one.

In many cases, some assets will be easier to find than others. For example, your loved one’s home is likely easily located. A small account with a lending institution, however, may be less obvious. Furthermore, we are well aware of the difficulties that associate with identifying assets belonging to a trust. We have helped many clients successfully fulfill this duty, and we can help you as well. Read what our former clients have had to say by checking out our client testimonials page today.

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