Trustee and Successor Trustee

A Trustee is a person selected to follow instructions set forth in a trust agreement.  The Trustor, or person whose wishes are expressed in the trust, makes the decision of how all his/her assets are to be managed and distributed.  A successor Trustee steps into the shoes of the original Trustor.   Usually no Probate Court is involved.

Giffen Fiduciary Services has over 20 years’ experience providing trust services to clients in the San Francisco Bay Area.  We step into the shoes of the current trustee as successor to take over the business aspects of his/her life if the Trustee is tired of managing their affairs or becomes incapacitated.

Whether a client’s trust is simple or very complex, we have a network of trusted financial advisors, real estate agents, CPAs, health care management agencies in place to make sure our clients’ best interests are being met.   If a client has a relationship with a trusted advisor (financial or CPA for example), we can continue the ongoing relationship.

As required by law, we provide comprehensive financial accountings.

We believe that each family is unique, and they need expert trust and financial services. The cornerstone of our practice is a commitment to building mutual trust with our clients and acting with integrity.  Their Trust document is our roadmap or guiding light.

When it comes time to prepare trust documents or to ask for advice, please call us for an appointment.  We will be happy to set up an initial complimentary consultation and can provide references and referrals.


The person named in a Will as the one who will carry out the terms in the Will as it goes through the probate process in Court after the Will maker has died.  The decedent did not have a Trust.

Decedent’s Estate Administration

This refers to the administration process and closing of a probate or trust estate.  Generally, this includes marshalling, inventorying and appraising the assets, paying and collecting debts, and preparing and filing tax returns.   We make distributions to the beneficiaries according to the Trust or Will.  If the estate is intestate (no Will or Trust), then the assets are distributed to the closest heirs by law.  In the case of an intestate estate, the court appoints the estate administrator.

Guardian Ad Litem

When a party to litigation is incapacitated or a minor, the court frequently appoints a Guardian Ad Litem to represent that person’s interests exclusively.