When a Settlor of a revocable living trust passes away, the trust becomes irrevocable and must be administered by a successor trustee pursuant to its terms. California has adopted a series of statutes that govern the manner in which trust administrations are to occur. The laws are complex and require strict adherence by the successor trustee in order for that successor trustee to avoid being held liable for a breach of trust. The trustee must act in the best interest of the beneficiaries and must exercise prudence throughout the administration. A trustee is not free to make decisions regarding how to distribute trust property that are not authorized by the trust document. A trustee is also not permitted to use the trust assets as his own or to unreasonably delay distribution of the assets.
Administering a trust is a complicated process that requires guidance from a legal professional. At Chauvel & Glatt, our estate planning attorneys are able to provide counsel to an acting trustee to protect that trustee from exposing himself to liability for failure to satisfy his fiduciary duties or to appropriately administer a trust. Similarly, a beneficiary may require an attorney to protect their interests and ensure that the trustee satisfies their duties. If you are named as a successor trustee of a trust or are a beneficiary of a trust, contact us today or call 650-573-9500 to set up a consultation to review your rights and duties.
This 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. For information on your particular circumstances, please contact Chauvel & Glatt at 650-881-2476 for legal assistance near you. (photo credit: Depositphotos.com)