Board Certified Specialized for Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law in California

Trust Administration

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Douglas P. Barnes have the knowledge and experience necessary to handle the administration of the largest and most complicated estates.  Our attorneys are assisted by a highly experienced certified paralegal to provide efficient and cost-effective trust administration services.

Trust Administration

In addition to providing representation and assistance with post-mortem trust administration after the death of a trustor, we also provide assistance with trust administration during the lifetime of the trustor, including advising our clients regarding the use of notices to beneficiaries when a gift has been made to an irrevocable trust (which are referred to as Crummey notices after the definitive case in this area), and preparation and filing of gift tax returns and fiduciary income tax returns.

We advise our clients regarding any issue arising during the administration of a trust, including:

  • The duties, powers and standards of a trustee
  • Trustee accounting and recordkeeping
  • Investing and managing trust assets
  • Resignation or removal of a trustee
  • Modification, revocation or termination of a trust
  • Creditor's rights against the trust or beneficiaries
  • Arranging appraisals and business valuations
  • Use of disclaimers and other post-death estate and income savings techniques
  • Subtrust funding
  • Trustee compensation and attorneys' fees
  • Income taxation of trusts
  • Preparation of gift, generation-skipping transfer tax and estate tax returns

Tax Controversies and Audits

We have particular expertise in the preparation of the federal decedent estate tax return, and extensive experience in settling federal estate tax audits with the Internal Revenue Service.  We are frequently engaged to assist other attorneys and accountants in managing the audit process.

Mediation and Litigation of Trust Disputes

In the event a dispute arises during the course of the administration of a trust, we offer mediation and litigation services.  We routinely advise clients in disputes involving a trust, and are prepared to prosecute or defend cases involving:

  • Trust contests
  • Allegations of a breach of fiduciary duty
  • Trust termination and modification proceedings
  • Objections to accountings
  • Lawsuits seeking to remove or substitute a trustee

For experienced, comprehensive assistance with any trust administration matter, contact the Law Offices of Douglas P. Barnes.


Douglas P. Barnes A Professional Corporation is located in Los Gatos, CA and serves clients in and around Los Gatos, Aptos, Soquel, Morgan Hill, Los Altos, Scotts Valley, Sunnyvale, Watsonville, Capitola, Freedom, Felton, Mount Hermon, San Martin, Ben Lomond, Brookdale, Santa Cruz, Boulder Creek, Mount Hamilton, Aromas, Gilroy, Moss Landing, Davenport, Milpitas, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County.

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