Q. My father’s home was in his Trust and the home was sold. The money from the sale was deposited into the Trust account. In cleaning out my father’ home, we found a monthly statement for a home loan but did not know the status of the loan. We learned that there was no Deed of Trust recorded on the home which is why nothing showed up on the title search when the home was sold. We have tried to contact the bank to inquire as to the status of this loan and pay any remaining balance. We left messages for numerous managers at the bank but no one returns our calls. My father died almost a year ago and we want to settle and close the Trust. What should we do?
A. As the Trustee, you are obligated to plan for payment of your father’s debts and obligations, such as income taxes, gift taxes, credit card debts, and mortgage payments. If an estate tax is due, these debts can be deducted for estate tax purposes. But, as Trustee, you are not legally required to notify your father’s creditors of his death.
Conversely, you are required to notify various state agencies that may have claims such as the State Board of Equalization, Franchise Tax Board, Department of Human Resources Development, Department of Mental Health, Department of Health Care Services and Medi-Cal.