What Happens if You Don’t Probate a Will in California?

What happens if you don’t do probate

You probably have questions regarding “probate” and what should happen if you don’t probate the Will. What are the consequences of not probating an estate?

Let’s go over what is probate, and the overall breakdown and what happens during the probate process. Moreover, learn how to keep yourself out of probate!

What Happens if you don’t do probate in California

You probably have questions regarding “probate” and what should happen if you don’t probate the Will. What are the consequences of not probating an estate?  

Let’s go over what is probate, and the overall breakdown and what happens during the probate process. Moreover, learn how to keep yourself out of probate! (click here)

To summarize, probate is a public affair. Want to keep your family estate private? Learn about Trusts.

What does probate mean | Probate definition

In simple terms, when a person dies (decedent), they have either created a will or a trust vehicle or died without one. If they died without a will or trust, they would have died intestate. (learn more about dying intestate). If, however, the decedent left a will, there will be an executor chosen by the settlor (decedent).   

What is the purpose of probate

When a settlor leaves a Will in the state of California, it’s essential to probate the Will. The settlor’s wishes are to pass their inheritance to their beneficiaries. The purpose of probate is to stay compliant in the eyes of the courts is caught up with any taxes, debts, and any other potential litigious issues before distributing any assets of the estate.

Key take away: If the executor/executrix distributes assets before finalizing the estate, it can come to haunt them in the form of paying the IRS, for example, should the estate owe back taxes and there are no assets to sell.

Probate is the method in which the court supervises the managing of an estate, ensuring all debts are paid, taxes up-to-date, and the proper distributions are made.

Can an estate be settled without probate

Yes, an estate can be settled without probate but by the use of a living trust. A Trust, similar to a will, determines the vesting of the assets to the beneficiaries. There are significant differences, however! (Trust vs. Will)

What if an executor does not probate the Will

Now, if the decedent left a will, it must go through probate and must adhere to all court proceedings in terms of the probate administration process. Should the executor not fulfill their role, the beneficiaries can compel the court to have them act; otherwise, they will be removed.

Moreover, if there are titles to vehicles, properties, etc., probate is the only answer to distribute assets if there was a will or no will at all (dying intestate).  

 

 

About Hess-Verdon Trust Litigation Attorney Serving Orange County, California Families

Hess-Verdon & Associates is one of the most knowledgeable and most sophisticated trusts and estate law firm in the state of California at both the trial and appellate levels.

Our legal team of Trust Attorneys in Orange County is well-versed in estate planningtrust administration, and trust litigation.

 Our viewpoint is the following: Aggressive legal representation with a team of experts that protect you, our preferred client, with current tax and estate planning strategies.

Our litigation team has spent years acquiring extensive experience in trial preparation, strategy, and trial presentation to help you with your specific case. 

We welcome the opportunity to discuss your needs, qualifications, staffing approaches, and rate structures to resolve the estate and trust-related matters successfully. Our knowledgeable and aggressive actions are necessary to ensure the trustor/grantor maintains their wishes on the administration of the trust.

About Hess-Verdon Trust Litigation Attorney Serving Orange County, California Families

Hess-Verdon & Associates is one of the most knowledgeable and most sophisticated trusts and estate law firm in the state of California at both the trial and appellate levels.

Our legal team of Trust Attorneys in Orange County is well-versed in estate planningtrust administration, and trust litigation.

 Our viewpoint is the following: Aggressive legal representation with a team of experts that protect you, our preferred client, with current tax and estate planning strategies.

Our litigation team has spent years acquiring extensive experience in trial preparation, strategy, and trial presentation to help you with your specific case. 

We welcome the opportunity to discuss your needs, qualifications, staffing approaches, and rate structures to resolve the estate and trust-related matters successfully. Our knowledgeable and aggressive actions are necessary to ensure the trustor/grantor maintains their wishes on the administration of the trust.

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stars 5 What Happens if You Don't Probate a Will in California?

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stars 5 What Happens if You Don't Probate a Will in California?

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My Brother Cheated Me Out of My Inheritance! What to do!

Beneficiary Rights to Trust Information

California Trust Attorneys

Does a Beneficiary Have the Right to See the Trust?

In the state of California, the Successor Trustee has a fiduciary duty to share information with all beneficiaries within 60 days as to the progress of the Trust Administration process and distribute a true copy of the Trust document and any amendments to the beneficiaries.

Probate Topics, Probate Litigation 

Tips A BENEFICIARY SHOULD KNOW TODAY!

Tips A TRUSTOR SHOULD CONSIDER

Trust Beneficiary Rights to Information

HESS-VERDON IS YOUR #1 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TRUST & ESTATE LAW FIRM

(DEEP BENCH COURT TIME)

Serving California Residents: Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Costa Mesa, and surrounding cities.
Areas of Practices: Estate & Trust Litigation, Estate Planning, Probate and Probate Litigation, Trust Administration.

If you are a beneficiary or Trustee looking for the beneficiary’s rights to trust information, then read on. Learn about whether the Trustee can do the following:

So, it is essential to know the rights of beneficiaries like the topic, “who has more right a trustee or the beneficiary”, which is subjective.

Let’s start with what rights a beneficiary has.

Beneficiary Rights to See Information

You are entitled as a beneficiary to receive information that the Successor Trustee is managing the Trust properly. You have the right to protect the assets the settlor/grantor has bequeathed to you. A beneficiary should also understand, however, there are timeframes the Trustee must adhere to, to ensure they keep on the right side of the courts. You will want to be up-to-date as to the progress of the Trust Administration process while offering ‘reasonable’ time for the Trustee to distribute the updates that are being asked for.  

1st takeaway: As a beneficiary, you have to understand the Trustee has the power to settle the estate, utilizing attorneys, appraisers, and other expert opinions to assist in resolving the estate to ensure no breach of their fiduciary duty. Within the Trustee duties, are ‘timeframes’ to act that typically range between 12-18 months based on whether properties must be sold, debts, tax implications and so forth.

One other timeframe is the distribution of the Trust document.

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Does a Beneficiary have a right to see the Trust information?

Are Beneficiaries entitled to a copy of the Trust?

The answer is it depends! While the person who created the Trust is alive, the living Trust is what is called, “revocable” and the Trustor has no legal requirement to show you the Trust. The Trustor can eliminate the Trust at any time while they are alive. 

Is a Trust Public record?

No, a Trust is not a public record and this is why most grantors choose a Trust over a Will. 

Now, when the Trustee/Settlor has passed away, the Trust becomes irrevocable straightaway, meaning, it is no longer changeable. If you are a beneficiary of a trust, then it’s at this point you have statutory rights as a beneficiary right. If you are the Trustee, you now have a legal duty to keep the beneficiaries of the Trust informed how the trust assets are being managed.

How do you follow-up on your Beneficiary Rights to Information

First, have knowledge on your side. Should you need counsel, because you feel a lack of transparency from the Trustee, then best to seek a trust litigation attorney. Under California Probate Code Section 16061.7, the Trustee has 60 days after the Settlor/Trustor’s death with a real copy of the Trust documents, including any amendments.  

The best practice is to stay in front of the curve by sending an email or letter to the Trustee that you are aware of the 60 days and would appreciate the True Copy of the Trust documents. Hopefully, this suffices, but if you don’t receive the Trust document, then its time to ratchet it up. Let the Trustee(s) know you may seek counsel, and petition with the courts to receive your copy and that any costs, i.e., attorney fees, etc., will be paid by them.

What Should a Beneficiary Expect from the Trustee at the initial stages?

You will hear the word “reasonably” from time-to-time because there is no fast hard rule as to each part of the Trust Administration process.

So, what are some early expectations you can expect to receive?

It’s the following:

  1. Trustee to get in touch with all the beneficiaries early on.
  2. Educate all beneficiaries of the role
  3. Help determine expectations based on the assets within the Trust
  4. All assets to be counted for and controlled before distribution of the trust assets to any beneficiary.

Transparency is the key to a successful Trust Administration process.  

What other rights does a beneficiary have of a Trust?

  • Right to Communication – You have the right to be kept informed of any changes of the Trust. Proper communication is vital.
  • Right to Accounting – You have the right to an accounting, such as assets the Trust holds, interest earned by the Trust, expenses paid out by the Trust.
  • Right to petition a court to remove a Trustee or terminate a trust – The right to petition to remove a Trustee or invalidate a Trust comes with a set of standards that must be brought up in front of a probate court and an experience trust litigator on your side is prudent.
  • Right to Distribution – Under the terms of the trust agreement, you have a right to receive your Trust asset distributions as a beneficiary or heir.

Need a Second Opinion?

Are you feeling your attorney is not answering your questions? 

Up against a deadline | Going over Budget | Case Taking too Long 

These are just a few reasons why you need a second opinion.

Hess-Verdon has a deep bench experience and works with the courts. If you have questions that your attorney is not answering, or the litigation has taken unexpected twists and turns, Hess-Verdon has handled Trust and Estate Lawsuits for over 30 years. Do not panic; Hess-Verdon is ready to help you today.

 

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stars 5 My Brother Cheated Me Out of My Inheritance! What to do!

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Client Since 2010

stars 5 My Brother Cheated Me Out of My Inheritance! What to do!

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Client Since 1994

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Top Trustee Defense Lawyer in Orange County, California

Top Trustee Defense Lawyer in Orange County, California

Hess-Verdon & Associates

Leading California Trust & Estate Litigation Law Firm with Extensive Litigation Experience

 

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For a limited time, we are offering a no-obligation case review.

During these trying times, when you need the peace of mind, Hess-Verdon is here to give you legal support.

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Top Trustee Defense Lawyer
in Orange County, California

Trustee and Beneficiaries Disputes

Are you a trustee and in need of counsel? Have you received a petition to remove you as a trustee? If so, read on.

Hess-Verdon attorneys are ready to protect you from monetary damages, specific performance of a duty, and reduction of the trustee’s compensation while bringing you peace.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty

As a trustee defense lawyer, your knowledge of the following is crucial:

  • Discovery – Pre-trial phase: As a trustee (defendant), you will receive interrogatories, i.e., written questions seeking information on the disputed issue.

Here at Hess-Verdon, we will use discovery to learn more about the beneficiary (plaintiff’s case). Some states limit the number of interrogatories. Having a top trustee defense attorney is paramount!

  • The request for production of documents: Physical evidence, including electronically stored information, will be obtained, done through a subpoena.  

The bottom line is to go through a myriad of interrogatories, request of admissions, and depositions before the pre-trial phase.

Searching for an Orange County Trustee defense lawyer is your best choice  Hess-Verdon & Associates is one of the most knowledgable and most sophisticated trusts and estate law firm in the state of California at both the trial and appellate levels.

For a limited time, Hess-Verdon is offering a free no-obligation case evaluation. You can receive an in-depth assessment of your legal standing from an expert estate planning attorney with deep court understanding.

Hess-Verdon will have your case evaluated by a team of trustee defense litigators! Get that larger strategic plan.

What to expect from a Hess-Verdon attorney?

Hess-Verdon protects your legal rights with 30 years of experience, over 1500 clients throughout our tenure, and treatment with respect and courtesy.

 

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Top Trust Beneficiary Rights Attorney in California

Top Trust Beneficiary Rights Attorney in California

Welcome!
We are Available to take your call

Hess-Verdon & Associates

HESS-VERDON IS THE LEADING TRUST BENEFICIARY RIGHTS ATTORNEY IN CALIFORNIA

During these trying times, we know it’s vitally important for you to save time and money. Is peace of mind important to you?  Rest assured that our top-quality attorneys will assist you every step of the way.

Hess-Verdon & Associates is a top Southern California trusts and estate law firm in the state of California at both the trial and appellate levels.

Our Guarantee: Courteous treatment, respect, and professionalism with a commitment to high-quality.

By Phone 1-888-318-4430

Trust Beneficiary Rights Attorney in California

HESS-VERDON IS YOUR #1 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TRUST & ESTATE LAW FIRM

(DEEP BENCH COURT TIME)

Trust Beneficiary Rights Attorney in California 

A trust beneficiary has beneficiary legal rights as per Probate code 16065.1. Highly recommended to secure legal counsel to stay compliant and reasonable should you need to petition an action with the courts.

With that said, are you a beneficiary and at a crossroads and unsure what to do? Is the trustee keeping you up-to-date?  

If you have any questions, it’s essential to contact a trust beneficiary rights attorney. In today’s litigious environment, staying “reasonable” throughout the trust administration process bodes well for any case.  

For a limited time, Hess-Verdon offers a free no-obligation case review to beneficiaries struggling with their legal rights. 

Now, let’s go over your beneficiary rights and how a Hess-Verdon trust attorney can help guide you through a myriad of steps. Take note; your beneficiary rights allow you to ensure no misappropriation of trust funds, including stealing, embezzlement, etc.

A beneficiary has the right to Trustee Information

For transparency, the beneficiaries have the right to the name, address, and telephone of each trustee of the trust.

A beneficiary has the right to see the trust and any written amendments

As a beneficiary, The Trustee must provide a copy of the trust to the beneficiary. It is one of the legal rights of the Trust Beneficiaries. Probate code 16065.1. Once you receive the trust document, you have 120 days from the trustee notification date to bring legal action contesting the terms of the trust.

Right to Communication

The trustee must keep the beneficiaries of the trust reasonably informed of the trust and its administration—probate code 166060.

If you review probate code 16061.7, it states that once notice is served, you may bring an action to contest the trust within 120 days from the date of notification by the trustee or 60 days from the time the beneficiary receives a copy of the terms of the trust.

Here is the exact excerpt: “You may not bring an action to contest the trust more than 120 days from the date this notification by the trustee is served upon you or 60 days from the date on which a copy of the terms of the trust is delivered to you during that 120-day period, whichever is later.”

Right to Accounting (Probate code 16063)

Beneficiaries have the right to petition the courts to remove the trustee if they believe they have been self-dealing, lack of transparency, bookkeeping issues, etc.

The trustee must furnish a statement of receipts and disbursements of principal and income that have occurred during the last complete fiscal year of the trust.  

Right to Petition a Court to Remove a Trustee or terminate a trust (Probate code 15642)

A trustee must put the rights of the beneficiary above their own. If not, a trustee may be removed in accordance with the trust instrument. Some of the reasons to remove a trustee are the following:

  • Where the trustee has committed a breach of the trust
  • Where the trustee is insolvent or otherwise unfit to administer the trust.
  • Where the trustee and co-trustee cannot get along and impairs the administration of the trust.
  • Where the trustee fails or declines to act.
  • Where the compensation to the trustee is excessive under the circumstance.

Right to Trustee changes

The trustee has 60 days to notify Beneficiaries on “knowledge of the death” of the Trustor to identify the identity of the settlor(s) of the trust and the date of execution of the Trust instrument.

Choosing the Right Law Firm is Paramount

Are you at a crossroads and in need of an experienced attorney to review your situation? 

If so, read on.

No matter who you are, whether a Trustee, Beneficiary, Business entity, real estate business partners, and so on, requires experienced representation. It requires an experienced and knowledgeable law firm to ensure your rights are protected during each step of any dispute process.  

It’s imperative to be patient and steadfast in selecting experienced and professional counsel. 

The last thing one needs is to lose focus on day-to-day matters. 

What Should I Consider in Achieving Good Counsel?

You need comprehensive, results-driven legal counsel to drive this issue to an amicable negotiation. And if you desire mediation or arbitration, whichever benefits your situation, our firm has been representing business owners and family businesses for over 30+ years.

With that said, if there is no alternative, then protect your rights through the legal system!

Why Choose Us?

What Does the Hess-Verdon Law Firm Strive for?

To Protect Your Legal Rights! For over 30+ years, our experience in estate planning, business, and commercial litigation allows us to gear up more quickly and handle your case more efficiently. You receive answers to substantive law questions and recommendations for settlement or litigation strategy sooner and with less research time.

Our firm can make a difference in your case!

We efficiently and economically work to secure a results-driven outcome!

Hess-Verdon & Associates is one of the most reliable and most sophisticated law firms — experienced in the state of California at both the trial and appellate levels. Our law firm has spent years acquiring extensive experience in trial preparation, strategy, and trial presentation to help you with your specific case.

 

Trustee & Co-Trustee Not Getting Along

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stars 5 Top Trust Beneficiary Rights Attorney in California

“I have been working with this firm since 1994; you can’t beat a firm like this, that is so ethical and competent.”

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Client Since 1994

stars 5 Top Trust Beneficiary Rights Attorney in California

“We’ve always felt comfortable sharing our concerns with Hess-Verdon & Associates and have felt confident that the job was well done and the concerns answered.”

Malou Cole

Client Since 2006

stars 5 Top Trust Beneficiary Rights Attorney in California

“Absolutely top notch firm for handling all your estate planning matters.”

Dean Williams

Client Since 1995

stars 5 Top Trust Beneficiary Rights Attorney in California

“Definitely a firm that will “fight to the finish.”

Frances Gruben

Client Since 2010

stars 5 Top Trust Beneficiary Rights Attorney in California

“I have been working with this firm since 1994; you can’t beat a firm like this, that is so ethical and competent.”

Dixie Fisher

Client Since 1994

Hess-Verdon & Associates PLC

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California: Trustee Responsibilities and Obligations!

Trustee Overview

Trustee Responsibilities and Obligations

As a trustee, your responsibilities and obligations are to the trust document. A trust is a binding legal contract. Trustees are fiduciaries – by law, they have a legal duty to comply with the trust instructions. The trustee must act prudently at all times for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries.

Now, let’s review the instructions for a Trustee in the event of the following:

  1. A physical or mental incapacity
  2. At death

Probate Topics, Probate Litigation 

Tips A BENEFICIARY SHOULD KNOW TODAY!

Tips A TRUSTOR SHOULD CONSIDER

Trustee Responsibilities and Obligations

HESS-VERDON IS YOUR #1 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TRUST & ESTATE LAW FIRM

Responsibilities of a Trustee at physical incapacity

  1. Contact the attorney who prepared the trust document. Get a copy of the trust document and review it for specific instructions. You will need to have the appropriate letter from a physician and maybe two or more specialists to document the person’s condition.
  2. Notify banks and other institutions that you are now the trustee of the person. Each institution may have different requirements but can count on showing them the following:

⇒ Copy of the doctor(s) letter.

⇒ Trust document

⇒ Personal identification

  • Take inventory of all property, especially real estate. Get all keys, maintenance crews if applicable, and continue to maintain any utilities, etc.
  • Make a list of all current debts, and transact any business of the incapacitated person. Keep a ledger of all debts paid and any income received.
  • If there are back-up trustees, keep them informed at all times.

Responsibilities of a Trustee at death

  1. Inform the family of your position as the trustee and assist as needed with the funeral arrangements, flowers, cemetery marker, special wishes for service, etc., and update friends and family members.
  2. Give copies of the trust document to all beneficiaries described in the trust.
  3. Order at least 12 certified death certificates which the funeral home can assist. Essential for transferring titles, etc.
  4. Contact the estate planning attorney and update them should you have any questions or concerns.
  5. Notify the banks. Again you will need documents to gain access to the accounts like the following:
  1. Certified copy of death certificate
  2. Trust document
  3. Personal identification
  • Get ahold of all agencies like the following who provide a death benefit
  1. Social Security
  2. Life Insurance companies
  3. Retirement plans
  1. Take note: Put these into an interest-bearing account until distribution.
  • Secure all real property, jewelry, collector items, cars, etc. and maintain all keys. Take inventory.
  • Through bank records, determine all accounts payable and receivables and start a ledger. Pay all bills and taxes.
  • Income taxes: Contact an accountant to prepare the final income taxes and any other estate tax an inheritance tax returns.

After paying debts and taxes, complete the final accounting record of all assets and bills paid. Send a copy to all beneficiaries. Keeping transparent is critical. 

Finally, make sure you get a signed receipt from all beneficiaries stating they received their property.

Responsibilities of a Trustee at death
  1. Inform the family of your position as the trustee and assist as needed with the funeral arrangements, flowers, cemetery marker, special wishes for service, etc., and update friends and family members.
  2. Give copies of the trust document to all beneficiaries described in the trust.
  3. Order at least 12 certified death certificates which the funeral home can assist. Essential for transferring titles, etc.
  4. Contact the estate planning attorney and update them should you have any questions or concerns.
  5. Notify the banks. Again you will need documents to gain access to the accounts like the following:
  6. Certified copy of death certificate
  7. Trust document
  8. Personal identification
  • Get ahold of all agencies like the following who provide a death benefit
  1. Social Security
  2. Life Insurance companies
  3. Retirement plans
  1. Take note: Put these into an interest-bearing account until distribution.
  • Secure all real property, jewelry, collector items, cars, etc. and maintain all keys. Take inventory.
  • Through bank records, determine all accounts payable and receivables and start a ledger. Pay all bills and taxes.
  • Income taxes: Contact an accountant to prepare the final income taxes and any other estate tax an inheritance tax returns.

After paying debts and taxes, complete the final accounting record of all assets and bills paid. Send a copy to all beneficiaries. Keeping transparent is critical. 

Finally, make sure you get a signed receipt from all beneficiaries stating they received their property.

Trustee & Co-Trustee Not Getting Along

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Contesting a Trust in California

California Business Litigation

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stars 5 California: Trustee Responsibilities and Obligations!

“Absolutely top notch firm for handling all your estate planning matters.”

Dean Williams

Client Since 1995

stars 5 California: Trustee Responsibilities and Obligations!

“Definitely a firm that will “fight to the finish.”

Frances Gruben

Client Since 2010

stars 5 California: Trustee Responsibilities and Obligations!

“I have been working with this firm since 1994; you can’t beat a firm like this, that is so ethical and competent.”

Dixie Fisher

Client Since 1994

Hess-Verdon & Associates PLC

Call 1-888-318-4430 or Contact Us Below

After filling out the form, we will receive it immediately. 

Simply fill out the information below and our paralegals will have you speak with our attorneys. Start today and have peace of mind.

Guide to How to Close a Trust in California!

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Hess-Verdon & Associates

HESS-VERDON IS THE LEADING ORANGE COUNTY AND LOS ANGELES TRUST & ESTATES, PROBATE LITIGATION LAW FIRM

How to close a trust | Dissolving a trust

During these hard times, we know it’s vitally important to save time, money, peace of mind, and receive the highest of top quality counsel!

Hess-Verdon is one of the highest top-quality counsel that cares and fights for your legal needs.

Our managing partners have practiced law for over 30+ years. We have deep court experience, and after 1500+ clients throughout our tenure, you will receive in-depth knowledge in trust & estates, business, and real estate matters.
For a limited time, we are offering a free no-obligation case evaluation. Feel free to call, and our helpful staff will set you up with one of our specialized attorneys.

Our Guarantee: Courteous treatment with respect and professionalism with a commitment to delivering high quality, client-centered focus.

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How to Close a Trust in California

HESS-VERDON IS YOUR #1 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TRUST & ESTATE LAW FIRM

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California Trust Law – How to Close a trust in California

If a California Trustor has recently died and left a trust, a successor trustee will need to know how to close California’s trust. Now, depending on the type of trust will determine the steps to dissolve the trust.  

Let’s get a few facts out at the beginning. Trusts are divided into two camps—revocable and irrevocable Trusts. Once a trustor dies, the revocable converts to “irrevocable,” meaning it can no longer be changed. The successor trustee now enters the picture to consolidate all assets, bank accounts, etc. of the deceased and update all beneficiaries as to the steps they will take. Transparency is the key to a successful trust administration process.

How Do You Close a Trust Administration and ready to make the final distribution?

As a Trustee, you will want first to get the original trust document (sometimes called trust instrument). Please read it in full, compile the names of all beneficiaries, etc., and draft a letter updating all beneficiaries of your pertinent information and plan to complete and dissolve the trust administration here in California. You will want to make sure the beneficiary feels confident you will follow the trust document in full and follow your fiduciary duty.

After you update all the beneficiaries, etc., you will have to gather all the estate assets and protect them from someone stealing and misappropriating. The bottom line, there are many steps throughout the trust administration process. 

How Does a Trust Terminate

As the successor trustee, you want to distribute the assets to the beneficiaries while eliminating any liability. To reduce any liability, you can either have the beneficiaries sign a consent and release form based on an informal accounting or go to the court and ask the court to approve the court filed accounting. The objective of both the trustee and beneficiaries is to stay out of a California trust litigation situation. 

Choosing the Right Trust & Estate Planning Attorney to help dissolve the trust 

CHOOSING THE RIGHT TRUST & ESTATE LITIGATION LAW FIRM IS CRUCIAL

Hess-Verdon is the Right Trust Estate Litigation Law Firm

When it comes to searching for a Trust Litigation Attorney in Los Angeles, Hess-Verdon & Associates is a top Southern California trusts and estate law firm in the state of California at both the trial and appellate levels. 

Our law firm is well versed in estate planning, trust administration, and trust litigation. 

We believe in Aggressive legal representation with a team of experts that protect you, our preferred client, with current tax and estate planning and trust litigation strategies. 

To continue, our litigation lawyers have years of extensive experience in strategy, trial preparation, and trial presentation to help you with your case.  

Hess-Verdon welcomes the opportunity to discuss your case, our staffing approaches, qualifications, and rate structures. Our goal is a view toward the successful resolution of Estate and trust-related matters. 

FOR A LIMITED TIME, WE ARE OFFERING A FREE NO-OBLIGATION CASE REVIEW. 

During these trying times, when you need the peace of mind, Hess-Verdon is here to give you legal support.

We can confidentially evaluate what the problems and solutions are for your case. 

Our probate attorney will tell you the truth about what the source is of your delays, questions, or increased expense.  

If you are currently in litigation, consider the following:

Why is this taking so long?

Is it your lawyer?

Do you wish your attorney was more like your opposing counsel?

Why is this costing so much?

When will this be over?

When should you settle and for how much?

If you have questions that your attorney is not answering, or the litigation has taken unexpected twists and turns, you should seek a second opinion. 

What is the cost of a second opinion? 

Second opinions on handling your case can be rendered on favorable terms, in some cases, at no charge. 

To discuss your situation, to meet with us, or to get your questions answered, please call our office to schedule an appointment.

 

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Top Estate Litigation Attorney. What are your Options?

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Hess-Verdon & Associates

HESS-VERDON IS THE LEADING ESTATE LITIGATION ATTORNEY LAW FIRM

Let’s go over when you have to litigate a trust because the Trustee has not fulfilled their fiduciary duty. It’s definitely a trying time because the Trustee is probably a family member. As a trustee, you are given powers to manage the estate of the deceased (Trustor). Within the Trust, are instructions explaining how the estate will be distributed to the beneficiaries and heirs.  The Trustee must abide by the wishes of the trustor while staying transparent in their dealings.

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Related Practices: Estate & Trust Litigation, Estate Planning, Probate, Trust Administration.

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Let’s go over when you have to litigate a trust because the Trustee has not fulfilled their fiduciary duty. It’s definitely a trying time because the Trustee is probably a family member. As a trustee, you are given powers to manage the estate of the deceased (Trustor). Within the Trust, are instructions explaining how the estate will be distributed to the beneficiaries and heirs.  The Trustee must abide by the wishes of the trustor while staying transparent in their dealings.

The duty of the Trustee is the following:

  1. Keep transparent at all times: All bookkeeping kept up-to-date with annual tax returns when necessary. 
  2. Beneficiary’s rights are above the wants of the Trustee:  Normally, because the Trustee is a family member, they have to have an outlook to continually stay neutral, which at times is hard. Therefore, the Trustee should seek legal counsel as part of their fiduciary duty.  
  3. Protect Estate Assets:  Protecting the estate assets is crucial if the Trustee needs to show the court their due diligence. There are times where a family member may be living in a property that is within the Trustor’s estate. Keeping a level head as a Trustee is very important because if the property has to be sold, it can be trying times. As a Trustor/Grantor, choose a person who has qualities that will ensure a successful outcome is essential.

Note: There are more duties, such as paying debts, taxes, investing, selling properties, and more. How to stay out of litigation? Both parties, i.e., the Trustee and beneficiary, must keep transparent and stay reasonable in their expectations.

What are some reasons and remedies to eliminate litigation?

Well, for starters, if you are a Trustee, you have some initial moments to get all the burial arrangements and funeral completed. During that time, there may be instructions from the Trustor/Grantor as to their funeral arrangements. So, get the Trust document right away from the Trust attorney.

After settling the funeral arrangements, etc., have a meeting with all the beneficiaries and heirs described in the Trust and share all pertinent information. The objective is to allow the beneficiaries the ability to contact the Trustee when needed. As a beneficiary, you have to understand the Trustee is busy administering the estate. Therefore, you have to be “reasonable” in your timeline expectations. The Trustee must respond, however, and if they don’t, then you may need to file a petition in court. 

Now, it is crucial to have a Trust Attorney who can guide you to ensure you are standing on legal grounds. Our recommendation is to interview 2-3 attorneys because litigation may take time. It’s important however if you want to protect your family legacy. Also, some of the best attorneys can quickly establish your best course of action, including if its worth pursuing litigation. It’s essential to select staff of attorneys who have time in the court and have litigated your type of breach of fiduciary duty.

Who has more rights, a Trustee, or a Beneficiary?

The question should really be what “rights” does a Trustee have and what “rights” does a beneficiary have.  You see, the rights of both are a fundamental right in that the Trustee has a fiduciary duty to the Trust and to the Beneficiaries to be transparent, and the Beneficiary stays reasonable with expectations based on timelines.

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What Powers Does a Trustee Have and What to Consider!

What Powers Does a Trustee Have and What to Consider!

Trustee Refuses to Give an Accounting

Does a Trustee have to give an accounting to beneficiaries?

Trustee Refuses to Give Accounting

If the Trustee is the settlor, they can refuse to provide an accounting as the Trust instrument is revocable. Once the settlor dies, the Trust Instrument become irrevocable and the Successor Trustee must comply to probate code 16060 and keep beneficiary’s reasonably informed of the Trust and its administration or will be in breach of their fiduciary duty.

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What Powers Does a Trustee Have

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What Powers Does a Trustee Have

Trustee Powers

People often ask, “What Powers does a Trustee have”? First, the powers of the Trustee comes from a basis of living up to their fiduciary duty meaning, to stay transparent in all dealings and reasonable updates to the beneficiaries and heirs through annual reporting. The Trustee must follow the instructions in the Trust document. Therefore, the Trustee has both duties and powers and much responsibility! Trustee education is the key!

What Powers Does a Trustee Have

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 Trustee Powers

With that said, the powers come from the state legislation for estate planning. A core tenet for estate planning is to transfer assets in anticipation of death to your loved ones and to preserve the maximum amount of wealth possible using estate planning vehicles like revocable and irrevocable trusts.

When a Trustor/Grantor dies, the powers of the Trustee are set in motion. A revocable trust becomes irrevocable, and the trustee powers are to live up to the Trustor’s wishes and stay compliant to state laws.

What Power Does a Trustee Have Over a Trust

  1. Buying and selling of Assets
  2. Determining distributions to the beneficiaries under the trust instrument
  3. Hiring and firing advisors
  4. Making income distributions
  5. Power to lease
  6. Power to Administer the Trust
  7. Duty to defend the Trust
  8. Duty to Report
  9. Trust Termination

With that said, the duties of a Trustee are expansive yet overseen by the beneficiaries via transparency. It is important to note that the assets in the Trust are not the Trustees. The Trustee is safeguarding the assets for others, therefore no commingling of funds and using the Trust as a piggy bank. 

Does a Trustee have the power to ask for professional assistance?

The Trustee has the right to search out professional accountants, attorneys, appraisers, etc., to help complete the distribution of assets to the beneficiaries promptly. Note: There are time-tables associated with the time allotted for keeping a Trust open. The Trustee and Beneficiaries must know and stay reasonable in their expectations.  

What Powers does the Trustee Not Have?

As a Trustee, you have duties and powers to protect the assets of the estate. Now, just because a Trustee has powers to sell an asset, for example, does not give them the right to sell below market value to a friend, for example. The estate is not the assets of the Trustee, and should any breach of fiduciary duty take place, the beneficiaries can petition the courts to remove the Trustee.

Lastly, a Trustee can be a beneficiary, and there may be more than one Trustee (Trustee and Co-Trustee). The Trustee is held responsible for the misappropriation of Trust funds, including stealing/embezzlement. Therefore the powers of the Trustee are for the benefit of the estate, not the Trustee.

What Constitutes a Breach of Fiduciary Duty?

What constitutes a breach of fiduciary duty? Well first, let us go over the responsibilities of the Trustee, Executor, and Estate Administrators to understand their responsibilities better. First and foremost, any action a Trustee takes must show their efforts were for the Trustor and beneficiaries wherein their duty of loyalty, impartiality, prudent investing, fiduciary accounting, defending against claims, and self-dealing are at the forefront before their wishes. Within the Trust are sections describing how the beneficiaries and heirs will receive their part of the estate. With that said, the Trustee must maintain transparency at all times with the beneficiaries.

So what constitutes a breach? Below are just some reasons to sue a Trust for breach their fiduciary duty:

  1. Trustee refuses to give an accounting: When mismanagement of a Trust is at its highest probability, typically, the Trustee and Co-Trustees refuse to provide updates to the beneficiaries. Not giving periodic updates is a sure sign for seeking counsel. Note: The Trust is a fiduciary arrangement that allows a third party, or Trustee, to manage and hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary or beneficiaries.
  2. Trustee stealing from a Trust: Stealing from a Trust, i.e., embezzlement, is a crime. Note: You cannot threaten to have someone charged criminally in hopes of taking advantage of their situation. Blackmailing exposes you to possible criminal liability.
  3. Self-Dealing – Self-dealing includes actions such as purchasing assets from the Trust, borrowing from the Trust even if it was repaid, investing in the Trustee’s own business, etc.

The bottom line, transparency is key to any successful Trust Administration process.

How Do I File a Breach of Fiduciary Complaint Against a Trustee

Documentation of suspicious activity is needed. You are required in order to show reasonable expectations, i.e., understanding time-frames, etc., with documentation following up with your concern with the Trustee. The next step is to find a highly sought out trust ligation firm that specializes in your exact case scenario. Moreover, ask questions regarding court time. 

We understand these are trying times. Here at Hess-Verdon, we have worked with thousands of clients throughout our tenure, and we are here to help you make the right decision.

Is Breach of Fiduciary Duty a Crime

A breach of fiduciary duty is not a criminal act but can be associated with one. For example, if the Trustee was self-dealing, e.g., selling a property, for instance, way below fair market value to a friend or themselves, then a court may see this as a form of embezzlement. Embezzlement is a crime. In the case of negligence, then it’s not a crime, but the beneficiaries still may go after the Trustee in civil court.

How Long does it take to Settle a Trust

Settling a Trust is a subjective question because each Trust is slightly different from another. For example, there may be several properties to sell, while another Trust has no real estate. But if you are looking for an average time-frame, Trust Administration is between 12-18 months. 

 

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“Absolutely top notch firm for handling all your estate planning matters.”

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stars 5 What Powers Does a Trustee Have and What to Consider!

“Definitely a firm that will “fight to the finish.”

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Client Since 2010

stars 5 What Powers Does a Trustee Have and What to Consider!

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Client Since 1994

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Ultimate Guide: Trustee Accounting to Beneficiaries

Ultimate Guide: Trustee Accounting to Beneficiaries

Hess-Verdon & Associates PLC

Trustee Accounting to Beneficiaries

Our Orange County trust litigation lawyers focus on helping trustees, beneficiary, and heirs in the event there is a trust contest. Our Orange County Law firm focuses primarily on trust and estates disputes based upon undue duress, embezzlement, breach of fiduciary duty, and other estate litigation matters.

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Tips A BENEFICIARY SHOULD KNOW TODAY!

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Trustee Accounting to Beneficiaries

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Now, if you are a beneficiary, the Trust document will have to be read to determine who is entitled to an accounting. If the Trustee contacts all beneficiaries at the onset, submit your request to receive the Trust document to ensure you stay compliant and reasonable. However, there are timelines to maintain legal rights in various steps of the Trust administration process.

Trustee Accounting to Beneficiaries

HESS-VERDON IS YOUR #1 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TRUST & ESTATE LAW FIRM

(DEEP BENCH COURT TIME)

Now, if you are a beneficiary, the Trust document will have to be read to determine who is entitled to an accounting. If the Trustee contacts all beneficiaries at the onset, submit your request to receive the Trust document to ensure you stay compliant and reasonable. However, there are timelines to maintain legal rights in various steps of the Trust administration process.

When you receive an accounting, you will receive six separate types of data based on California probate code section 16063

(1) A statement of receipts and disbursements of principal and income that have occurred during the last complete fiscal year of the trust or since the last account.

(2) A statement of the assets and liabilities of the trust as of the end of the last complete fiscal year of the trust, or as of the end of the period covered by the account.

(3) The Trustee’s compensation for the last complete fiscal year of the trust or since the last account.

(4) The agents hired by the Trustee, their relationship to the Trustee, if any, and their compensation, for the last complete fiscal year of the trust or since the last account.

(5) A statement that the recipient of the account may petition the court pursuant to Section 17200 to obtain a court review of the account and of the acts of the Trustee.

(6) A statement that claims against the Trustee for breach of trust may not be made after the expiration of three years from the date the beneficiary receives an account or report disclosing facts giving rise to the claim.

Please note:  If the Trust is revocable, i.e., Trustor is still alive and not capacitated, there is no duty for the Trustor to provide any Trust document whatsoever nor any accounting to beneficiaries. A revocable trust is considered a living trust.

When does a trustee have to give the beneficiaries an accounting of trust money

As discussed, the beneficiaries are entitled to receive current accounting. If the Trustee does not provide up-to-date accounting, the Beneficiaries will need to make a written demand to the Trustee and allow a reasonable time to reply. If, after 60 days, you hear no response, you can file a probate court petition to get a court order requiring the Trustee to report.

 

When you receive an accounting, you will receive six separate types of data based on California probate code section 16063

(1) A statement of receipts and disbursements of principal and income that have occurred during the last complete fiscal year of the trust or since the last account.

(2) A statement of the assets and liabilities of the trust as of the end of the last complete fiscal year of the trust, or as of the end of the period covered by the account.

(3) The Trustee’s compensation for the last complete fiscal year of the trust or since the last account.

(4) The agents hired by the Trustee, their relationship to the Trustee, if any, and their compensation, for the last complete fiscal year of the trust or since the last account.

(5) A statement that the recipient of the account may petition the court pursuant to Section 17200 to obtain a court review of the account and of the acts of the Trustee.

(6) A statement that claims against the Trustee for breach of trust may not be made after the expiration of three years from the date the beneficiary receives an account or report disclosing facts giving rise to the claim.

Please note:  If the Trust is revocable, i.e., Trustor is still alive and not capacitated, there is no duty for the Trustor to provide any Trust document whatsoever nor any accounting to beneficiaries. A revocable trust is considered a living trust.

When does a trustee have to give the beneficiaries an accounting of trust money

As discussed, the beneficiaries are entitled to receive current accounting. If the Trustee does not provide up-to-date accounting, the Beneficiaries will need to make a written demand to the Trustee and allow a reasonable time to reply. If, after 60 days, you hear no response, you can file a probate court petition to get a court order requiring the Trustee to report.

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If you are a beneficiary or Trustee looking for beneficiaries’ rights to trust information, then read on. Learn about whether the Trustee can do the following:

So, it is essential to know the rights of beneficiaries like the topic, “who has more right a trustee or the beneficiary”, which is subjective.

Let’s start with what rights a beneficiary has.

Beneficiary Rights to See Information

You are entitled as a beneficiary to receive information that the Successor Trustee is managing the Trust properly. You have the right to protect the assets the settlor/grantor has bequeathed to you. A beneficiary should also understand, however, there are timeframes the Trustee must adhere to, to ensure they keep on the right side of the courts. You will want to be up-to-date as to the progress of the Trust Administration process while offering ‘reasonable’ time for the Trustee to distribute the updates that are being asked for.  

1st takeaway: As a beneficiary, you have to understand the Trustee has the power to settle the estate, utilizing attorneys, appraisers, and other expert opinions to assist in resolving the estate to ensure no breach of their fiduciary duty. Within the Trustee duties, are ‘timeframes’ to act that typically range between 12-18 months based on whether properties must be sold, debts, tax implications, and so forth.

One other timeframe is the distribution of the Trust document.

Trustee and Beneficiary Rights to Information

If you are a beneficiary or Trustee looking for beneficiaries’ rights to trust information, then read on. Learn about whether the Trustee can do the following:

So, it is essential to know the rights of beneficiaries like the topic, “who has more right a trustee or the beneficiary”, which is subjective.

Let’s start with what rights a beneficiary has.

Beneficiary Rights to See Information

You are entitled as a beneficiary to receive information that the Successor Trustee is managing the Trust properly. You have the right to protect the assets the settlor/grantor has bequeathed to you. A beneficiary should also understand, however, there are timeframes the Trustee must adhere to, to ensure they keep on the right side of the courts. You will want to be up-to-date as to the progress of the Trust Administration process while offering ‘reasonable’ time for the Trustee to distribute the updates that are being asked for.  

1st takeaway: As a beneficiary, you have to understand the Trustee has the power to settle the estate, utilizing attorneys, appraisers, and other expert opinions to assist in resolving the estate to ensure no breach of their fiduciary duty. Within the Trustee duties, are ‘timeframes’ to act that typically range between 12-18 months based on whether properties must be sold, debts, tax implications, and so forth.

One other timeframe is the distribution of the Trust document.

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Does a Beneficiary have a right to see the Trust information?

Are Beneficiaries entitled to a copy of the Trust?

The answer is it depends! While the person who created the Trust is alive, the living Trust is what is called, “revocable” and the Trustor has no legal requirement to show you the Trust. The Trustor can eliminate the Trust at any time while they are alive. 

Is a Trust Public record?

No, a Trust is not a public record and this is why most grantors choose a Trust over a Will. 

Now, when the Trustee/Settlor has passed away, the Trust becomes irrevocable straightaway, meaning, it is no longer changeable. If you are a beneficiary of a trust, then it’s at this point you have statutory rights as a beneficiary right. If you are the Trustee, you now have a legal duty to keep the beneficiaries of the Trust informed how the trust assets are being managed.

How do you follow-up on your Beneficiary Rights to Information

First, have knowledge on your side. Should you need counsel, because you feel a lack of transparency from the Trustee, then best to seek a trust litigation attorney. Under California Probate Code Section 16061.7, the Trustee has 60 days after the Settlor/Trustor’s death with a real copy of the Trust documents, including any amendments.  

The best practice is to stay in front of the curve by sending an email or letter to the Trustee that you are aware of the 60 days and would appreciate the True Copy of the Trust documents. Hopefully, this suffices, but if you don’t receive the Trust document, then its time to ratchet it up. Let the Trustee(s) know you may seek counsel, and petition with the courts to receive your copy and that any costs, i.e., attorney fees, etc., will be paid by them.

What Should a Beneficiary Expect from the Trustee at the initial stages?

You will hear the word “reasonably” from time-to-time because there is no fast hard rule as to each part of the Trust Administration process.

So, what are some early expectations you can expect to receive?

It’s the following:

  1. Trustee to get in touch with all the beneficiaries early on.
  2. Educate all beneficiaries of the role
  3. Help determine expectations based on the assets within the Trust
  4. All assets to be counted for and controlled before distribution of the trust assets to any beneficiary.

Transparency is the key to a successful Trust Administration process.  

What other rights does a beneficiary have of a Trust?

  • Right to Communication – You have the right to be kept informed of any changes of the Trust. Proper communication is vital.
  • Right to Accounting – You have the right to an accounting, such as assets the Trust holds, interest earned by the Trust, expenses paid out by the Trust.
  • Right to petition a court to remove a Trustee or terminate a trust – The right to petition to remove a Trustee or invalidate a Trust comes with a set of standards that must be brought up in front of a probate court and an experience trust litigator on your side is prudent.
  • Right to Distribution – Under the terms of the trust agreement, you have a right to receive your Trust asset distributions as a beneficiary or heir.

 

Beneficiary Rights to See Information

You are entitled as a beneficiary to receive information that the Successor Trustee is managing the Trust properly. You have the right to protect the assets the settlor/grantor has bequeathed to you. A beneficiary should also understand, however, there are timeframes the Trustee must adhere to, to ensure they keep on the right side of the courts. You will want to be up-to-date as to the progress of the Trust Administration process while offering ‘reasonable’ time for the Trustee to distribute the updates that are being asked for.  

1st takeaway: As a beneficiary, you have to understand the Trustee has the power to settle the estate, utilizing attorneys, appraisers, and other expert opinions to assist in resolving the estate to ensure no breach of their fiduciary duty. Within the Trustee duties, are ‘timeframes’ to act that typically range between 12-18 months based on whether properties must be sold, debts, tax implications, and so forth.

One other timeframe is the distribution of the Trust document.

Does a Beneficiary have a right to see the Trust information?

Are Beneficiaries entitled to a copy of the Trust?

The answer is it depends! While the person who created the Trust is alive, the living Trust is what is called, “revocable” and the Trustor has no legal requirement to show you the Trust. The Trustor can eliminate the Trust at any time while they are alive. 

Is a Trust Public record?

No, a Trust is not a public record and this is why most grantors choose a Trust over a Will. 

Now, when the Trustee/Settlor has passed away, the Trust becomes irrevocable straightaway, meaning, it is no longer changeable. If you are a beneficiary of a trust, then it’s at this point you have statutory rights as a beneficiary right. If you are the Trustee, you now have a legal duty to keep the beneficiaries of the Trust informed how the trust assets are being managed.

How do you follow-up on your Beneficiary Rights to Information

First, have knowledge on your side. Should you need counsel, because you feel a lack of transparency from the Trustee, then best to seek a trust litigation attorney. Under California Probate Code Section 16061.7, the Trustee has 60 days after the Settlor/Trustor’s death with a real copy of the Trust documents, including any amendments.  

The best practice is to stay in front of the curve by sending an email or letter to the Trustee that you are aware of the 60 days and would appreciate the True Copy of the Trust documents. Hopefully, this suffices, but if you don’t receive the Trust document, then its time to ratchet it up. Let the Trustee(s) know you may seek counsel, and petition with the courts to receive your copy and that any costs, i.e., attorney fees, etc., will be paid by them.

What Should a Beneficiary Expect from the Trustee at the initial stages?

You will hear the word “reasonably” from time-to-time because there is no fast hard rule as to each part of the Trust Administration process.

So, what are some early expectations you can expect to receive?

It’s the following:

  1. Trustee to get in touch with all the beneficiaries early on.
  2. Educate all beneficiaries of the role
  3. Help determine expectations based on the assets within the Trust
  4. All assets to be counted for and controlled before distribution of the trust assets to any beneficiary.

Transparency is the key to a successful Trust Administration process.  

What other rights does a beneficiary have of a Trust?

  • Right to Communication – You have the right to be kept informed of any changes of the Trust. Proper communication is vital.
  • Right to Accounting – You have the right to an accounting, such as assets the Trust holds, interest earned by the Trust, expenses paid out by the Trust.
  • Right to petition a court to remove a Trustee or terminate a trust – The right to petition to remove a Trustee or invalidate a Trust comes with a set of standards that must be brought up in front of a probate court and an experience trust litigator on your side is prudent.
  • Right to Distribution – Under the terms of the trust agreement, you have a right to receive your Trust asset distributions as a beneficiary or heir.

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stars 5 Ultimate Guide: Trustee Accounting to Beneficiaries

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Client Since 1994

stars 5 Ultimate Guide: Trustee Accounting to Beneficiaries

“We’ve always felt comfortable sharing our concerns with Hess-Verdon & Associates and have felt confident that the job was well done and the concerns answered.”

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Client Since 2006

stars 5 Ultimate Guide: Trustee Accounting to Beneficiaries

“Absolutely top notch firm for handling all your estate planning matters.”

Dean Williams

Client Since 1995

stars 5 Ultimate Guide: Trustee Accounting to Beneficiaries

“Definitely a firm that will “fight to the finish.”

Frances Gruben

Client Since 2010

stars 5 Ultimate Guide: Trustee Accounting to Beneficiaries

“I have been working with this firm since 1994; you can’t beat a firm like this, that is so ethical and competent.”

Dixie Fisher

Client Since 1994

Hess-Verdon & Associates PLC

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Top Estate Litigation Attorney.  What are your Options?

Trustee Removal Petition (The Proper Guide to Removal)

Trustee Removal Petition

Trustee Refuses to Give Accounting

If the Trustee is the settlor, they can refuse to provide an accounting as the Trust instrument is revocable. Once the settlor dies, the Trust Instrument becomes irrevocable and the Successor Trustee must comply to probate code 16060 and keep beneficiary’s reasonably informed of the Trust and its administration or will be in breach of their fiduciary duty.

Probate Topics, Probate Litigation 

Tips A BENEFICIARY SHOULD KNOW TODAY!

Tips A TRUSTOR SHOULD CONSIDER

Petition to Remove the Trustee

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Petition to Remove Trustee

With that said, let’s go over various options to remove a Trustee, but take note, the Trustee can fight back and use the Trust for legal costs. Now, of course, if the Trustee has breached their fiduciary duty, e.g., Misappropriation of the Trust funds, stealing from the Trust, etc., then the beneficiaries and heirs can go after the Trustee civilly. If there were embezzlement, it would be a crime. 

What are some reasons to remove a Trustee from a Trust

If you are searching to understand how to remove a trustee from a family trust, it breaks down to a few reasons:

  • Misappropriation of Trust Funds
  • Stealing from a Trust
  • Lack of Transparency
  • Sibling rivalry like Trustee vs. Co-Trustee disputes
  • Failure to comply with the Trust terms
  • Self-Dealing
  • Neglect, Mismanagement of Trust Assets
  • Trustee failure to Act
  • Undue Influence
  • Conflicts of Interest

The above reasons are just some common reasons for petitioning the removal of the Trustee.

The burden of Proof to Petition the Removal of the Trustee

If you find yourself in need of an experienced trust litigation attorney, its essential to have shown “reasonable” expectations from the Trustee. A court will not replace the Trustee simply because one feels they have not been answering every question. 

If you have proof, however, that there has been a misappropriation of the Trust assets or embezzlement, immediately consult a Trust litigation attorney.

Choosing the Right Trust Estate Litigation Lawyer is Crucial

Searching for an Orange County Trust Litigation attorney?  Hess-Verdon & Associates is one of the most knowledgable and most sophisticated trusts and estate law firm in the state of California at both the trial and appellate levels.

Our legal team of Trust Attorneys in Orange County, are well versed in estate planning, trust administration, and trust litigation.

Our viewpoint is the following:  Aggressive legal representation with a team of experts that protect you, our preferred client, with current tax and estate planning strategies.

Our litigation team has spent years acquiring extensive experience in trial preparation, strategy, and trial presentation to help you with your specific case. 

We welcome the opportunity to discuss your needs, our qualifications, staffing approaches, and rate structures with a view toward the successful resolution of Estateand trust-related matters.

Learn more about our Living Trust Attorneys.

Choosing the Right Trust Estate Litigation Lawyer is Crucial

Searching for an Orange County Trust Litigation attorney?  Hess-Verdon & Associates is one of the most knowledgable and most sophisticated trusts and estate law firm in the state of California at both the trial and appellate levels.

Our legal team of Trust Attorneys in Orange County, are well versed in estate planning, trust administration, and trust litigation.

Our viewpoint is the following:  Aggressive legal representation with a team of experts that protect you, our preferred client, with current tax and estate planning strategies.

Our litigation team has spent years acquiring extensive experience in trial preparation, strategy, and trial presentation to help you with your specific case. 

We welcome the opportunity to discuss your needs, our qualifications, staffing approaches, and rate structures with a view toward the successful resolution of Estateand trust-related matters.

Learn more about our Living Trust Attorneys.

Why Consider hiring Hess-Verdon trust litigation attorneys

We work efficiently to help individuals, families, fiduciaries, organization with the following:

  • Trustees
  • Beneficiaries
  • Individuals and families
  • Banks
  • Trust Companies
  • Charitable entities
  • Family Offices
  • Corporate Fiduciaries
  • Corporate Trustees
  • Business Owners

Here at Hess-Verdon, we counsel clients on various aspects of estate disputes. Such as investigating potential claims, evaluating the merits of bringing a claim, filing or defending a claim, and when necessary litigating a claim through trial or settlement.

With our expert team of trust litigators, in many instances, we can settle such proceedings without going to trial after taking into account the merits of the positions advanced by the respective parties and the tax rules applicable.  

Rest assured, the Hess-Verdon team is here to help you. Unlike some other law firms, we are a full-service firm. Handling thousands of probate and trust litigation cases helps us know exactly steps are crucial for your case.

Visit us in Fashion Island in Newport Beach. If you believe you need a team of attorneys, paralegals, and a helpful, caring staff, then read on.

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Contesting a Trust in California

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Dean Williams

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