I am the trustee to dads trust. I can only find the Notice to Creditors in probate form. Does the same form exist for a trustee? I need a case number so that I can publish the Notice in legal paper.
Most trusts are not filed with the probate court, so there would BE no file number. Here in Michigan, we use the same form. We just modify the language to provide for trustee, instead of personal representative. The paper will be used to dealing with this situation, and it should not throw them at all.
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Section 19003 of the California Probae Code providdes, in part, as follows: (a) At any time following the death of the settlor, and during the time that there has been no filing of a petition to
administer the estate of the deceased settlor in this state of which the trustee has actual knowledge, the trustee may file with the court a proposed notice to creditors. Upon the court's assignment of a proceeding number to the proposed notice, the trustee shall publish
and serve notice to creditors of the deceased settlor in the form and within the time prescribed in Chapters 3 (commencing with Section 19040) and 4 (commencing with Section 19050). That action shall constitute notice to creditors of the requirements of this part.
(b) The filing shall be made with the superior court for the county in this state where the deceased settlor resided at the time of death, or if none, in any county in this state in which trust
property was located at the time of the settlor's death, or if none, in the county in this state that was the principal place of administration of the trust at the time of the settlor's death.
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There is a procedure for publishing notice to creditors in California, but over the last eight years I've only heard of an attorney doing so once. Doing so may not net you any benefit, and it may just be a waste of money.
Case numbers are only issued by the court, and picking the correct court can be harder than you think. The correct court may change if depending on what part of LA your dad lived in (assuming he lived in LA; I can't tell if your dad was even in California). You should probably get some help from a lawyer; I know they aren't free, but if this job was easy nobody would ever need a lawyer.
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I agree with Mr. Branson but wanted to expand on the reason why so few trustees publish notice. First, a trust is a non-public document and under the California Probate Code no formal court supervision is required (unless the beneficiaries or a creditor file suit to address a dispute). Second, under California law trustees and executors (who administer a will in a formal probate court proceeding) have different obligations. So, as a trustee you might want to consult with someone about your particular circumstances before you decide to publish notice.
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