Contact Us Today! (949) 305-8642


Common Errors in Creating and Administering Trusts & How to Avoid Them

Posted by James Burns | Mar 27, 2024 | 0 Comments

When it comes to protecting your assets and ensuring your loved ones are taken care of, setting up a trust is a powerful tool in your estate planning arsenal. But, like navigating through the beautiful but complex terrain of Orange County, California, without a map, creating and administering a trust without proper guidance can lead to unexpected pitfalls. Let's explore some common missteps and how the Law Office of James Burns can help you avoid them.

Choosing the Wrong Type of Trust

Why It's a Big Deal: Just as the sunny beaches of Orange County differ from the serene trails of the Santa Ana Mountains, not all trusts are created equal. Picking the wrong type of trust can mean the difference between safeguarding your assets and facing unnecessary taxes or legal challenges.

  • Actionable Tip: Think about your goals. Do you need flexibility, or are you looking to protect assets from taxes and creditors? Discuss these goals with an expert to determine whether a revocable or irrevocable trust suits your needs.


  • A Common Mistake: The Rodriguez family of Orange County learned this the hard way when they set up a revocable trust aiming to protect their assets from estate taxes, not realizing this trust type doesn't offer such protection.


Neglecting Proper Trust Funding

The Core Issue: Imagine buying a safety deposit box but then leaving your valuables on the kitchen table. That's essentially what happens when you create a trust but don't properly fund it.

  • Actionable Tip: Make sure to retitle your assets in the name of the trust or designate the trust as a beneficiary as soon as possible.


  • A Cautionary Tale: John and Alice, a couple from Irvine, had a trust drafted but never transferred their home into it. When John passed away, the house had to go through probate, negating the trust's primary benefit.


Misunderstanding the Trustee's Role

What You Need to Know: The trustee is like the captain of your ship; their role is pivotal in navigating your estate through the smooth and stormy seas alike.

  • Actionable Tip: Choose someone who is not only trustworthy but also understands and is willing to carry out the responsibilities that come with the role.


  • An Oft-Seen Error: In a well-known Orange County case, a trustee mismanaged the trust assets due to a lack of understanding of their fiduciary duties, leading to significant losses for the beneficiaries.


Overlooking Regular Trust Reviews

Why It's Critical: Life changes, such as births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and even relocation, can affect your trust. An outdated trust might not reflect your current wishes or adapt to new laws.

  • Actionable Tip: Schedule a review of your trust with your attorney every few years or after major life events.


  • A Lesson Learned: The Thompson family didn't update their trust after moving from Los Angeles to Orange County. This oversight resulted in their real estate being subject to the wrong jurisdiction, causing confusion and delays in administration.


The Law Office of James Burns: Your Guide Through the Trust Terrain

Navigating the world of trusts doesn't have to be a solitary journey fraught with pitfalls. The Law Office of James Burns offers the map and compass you need to steer clear of common trust missteps. With deep expertise in estate planning and a keen understanding of both revocable and irrevocable trusts, James Burns and his team provide personalized guidance to ensure your trust is set up and administered correctly, reflecting your wishes and protecting your assets.

Whether you're in the heart of Orange County or beyond, proactive and intuitive planning with the Law Office of James Burns can safeguard your legacy against the unexpected. By avoiding these common errors, you can ensure that your trust is a robust vessel, capable of carrying your estate smoothly into the future.

Ready to ensure your trust is on the right path? Contact the Law Office of James Burns at (949) 305-8642 or visit to learn how intuitive planning can secure your legacy and bring peace of mind to you and your loved ones.

About the Author

James Burns

Estate Planning, Asset Protection, Business and Real Estate Transactions, nutraceutical Law and franchising:


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment