If the properties were in both dad's and spouse's names as trustees of the living trust, it is necessary to put others on notice that one of the trustees passed away. This is known as an Affidavit of Death of Trustee.
There are many possible reasons for filing such an affidavit, which include: catching up with trust administration and/or division of trust assets, financing purposes, preparation of properties for sale.
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The successor and remaining trustee has an obligation to put the world on notice that there has been a change and/or modification in the trustees of the trust. It appears in your situation his wife who must have been a trustee passed away leaving dad as the sole surviving trustee.
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The affidavit of successor trustee is recorded as a record of what happened to the previous trustee. It explains why the previous trustee is unable to act (disabled or death) and it lets the world know the name of the new successor trustee. Your parents probably had titled their property in their trust, naming themselves as trustees. The affidavit of successor trustee that was recorded tells the world that your mom passed away, the date of her death (confirmed by the attached death certificate) and the name of the current trustee (presumably your dad is the sole trustee at this time).
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