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My Relative Died with a Trust, What Should I Expect From the Trustee?

When someone dies with a trust, the successor trustee is required to marshal and manage the trust assets in accordance with the terms of the trust. In addition, the trustee has the responsibility to notify the beneficiaries of the death of the trustor, communicate with and inform the beneficiaries of the trust administration, provide an accounting of the trust to the beneficiaries, pay outstanding bills belonging to the trustor, and timely file tax returns on behalf of the trust.

The California Probate Code sets forth numerous duties of a trustee. These duties include the requirement that a trustee notify beneficiaries when the trustor dies and provide copies of the trustor’s trust to the beneficiaries, if requested. The trustee is also required to administer the trust in a neutral, prudent manner that is in accordance with the terms of the trust and in the best interest of the beneficiaries. Failure to do so can be a violation of the trustee’s duties.

Often, we will receive a call from a frustrated beneficiary informing us that years have passed since the death of a trustor and the trustee has failed to administer the trust. If this is happening to you, then it is time to contact an attorney to assist you. Here at Chauvel & Glatt, we can represent trustees or beneficiaries in the administration of trusts to ensure that the administration is properly conducted. To learn more about how we can assist you, please contact us today.


The material in this article, provided by Chauvel & Glatt, is designed to provide informative and current information as of the date of the post. It should not be considered, nor is it intended to constitute, legal advice or promise similar outcomes.  For information on your particular circumstances, please contact Chauvel & Glatt at 650-573-9500.


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