Thank you for you clarifying.
The specific process may vary slightly from state to state, but I can give you a general overview. I would strongly recommend that you use the services of an estate attorney to help you administer the trust properly. The fee for the attorney would be paid from the trust assets, not out of your own money. The following are the typical steps:
1) Provide proper notice to all trust beneficiaries under the trust that they are named and provide a copy of said trust.
2) Prepare an Affidavit of Death of Trustee and Consent of Successor Trustee along with a change of ownership form for any real property held in the trust.
3) Identify other assets held in the trust (bank accounts, stocks, bonds, etc. and have the assets transferred into your name as successor trustee. You'll need to apply for and obtain a federal tax id number to do this.
4) If there are assets outside of the trust, see if a "pour over will" was prepared which directs that any assets not placed into the trust during the deceased’s lifetime will be put into the trust at death and distributed according to the terms and conditions of the trust. If the proper documents are in place, a simple petition can be filed and a probate can be avoided. If there was no pour over will (unlikely) then a separate probate in addition to the trust administration may be necessary
5) Ascertain and pay any debts of the decedent and taxes from the trust assets.
6) Prepare the accounting of the trust, if necessary.
7) Make trust distributions, which includes having beneficiaries sign a consent to distribution of trust and (most typically) waivers of the trust accounting.
This entire process usually can be completed within several months, unlike a probate which takes much longer, but as you can see there are steps that must be carefully followed. And since trusts can vary widely depending on the language in them, it's a good idea to have it reviewed carefully by an estate lawyer to ensure that everything is carried out properly.
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