Can One Trustee Act Alone
A single trust can be managed by more than one Trustee of equal powers and responsibilities. A co-trustee is simply a joint trustee. Co-trustee duties and responsibilities include:
1. Co-managing the assets in the trust; inventorizing, investing, selling, reporting
2. Filling tax returns
3. Working with trust attorneys to protect trust assets
4. Paying, transferring, or lending funds to beneficiaries
Do Co-trustees have to act jointly
If in dispute, contact Hess-Verdon
Can a co-trustee act alone?
The answer to this is No unless the Trust document states otherwise. In the case where the Trust does not explicitly state, the trustee and the co-trustee should make all decisions unanimously to push the trust administration process forward. If there are trustee and co-trustee disputes amongst the trustees it can be quite a litigious affair. As a trustor/settlor, you want to make sure to mitigate any possible conflicts of interest; otherwise, conflicts arise, assets stalled to the beneficiaries, and incurred costs can occur to the Trust.
The co-managing of trust assets can be problematic should the trustees not see eye to eye.
In the case of two trustees, they cannot merely break a deadlock by acting on their own. One of the co-trustees does not have the power and authority to complete any of the trust administration processes alone.
Trustee and Co-Trustee Conflict
When there is a conflict between the trustee and co-trustees, then the beneficiaries may petition to remove one or both in court, but again, it takes court action, which costs a lot of time and a lot of money. Even then, you may not know how the court will rule in the house hotel intervene in the trust affairs. Therefore it may not go as planned.
Are you a Trustor?
If you are a trustor, then you may want to consider having the Trust name the co-trustees to act independently that is, act alone without both signatures. Logistically, if the trustees can work independently, then the trust administration process can be completed on time. For example, if a trustee goes out on vacation or is incapacitated, the other trustee can continue with only one signature needed to get everything completed and distribute the estate to the beneficiaries.
Take into consideration under California probate code section 15620 should be unanimous action to co-trustees unless otherwise provided in the trust instrument. Your estate planning attorney should insert a particular language specifying and allowing for actions by one or the other co-trustee.
What is Unanimous Action
If the specific wording is not included in the original trust instrument or an amendment, then section 15620 requires “Unanimous action.” One can consider this as a majority rules clause.
When Co-Trustee Don’t Agree
What happens if the co-trustees can’t agree? If the co-trustees cannot agree, then any of them can file a petition to remove the other from the trust administration process. If you are one of the successor trustees, then its highly recommended to call a top trust litigation attorney like Hess-Verdon & Associates to ensure you have the best representation.
You see, if co-trustees are at a crisis point, Hess-Verdon is offering a second opinion case review to give you understanding how to mitigate litigation and proceed to complete the wishes of the trustor.
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California Trust & Probate Litigation Lawyers
Are you looking for an estate litigation attorney in your area? When it comes to the practice of Trust and estates, it can be difficult finding an attorney that’s experienced in handling your specific issues.
- Can a Trustee sue on behalf of the trust
- Can a Trustee be held personally liable
- Can a Trustee remove a Beneficiary from a trust
- Settling a Trust After Death
- Being a Trustee of a Trust
Request a Case Review Today Call us at 949-706-7300CO-TRUSTEE DUTIES Administering a trust is never a walk in the park. That's why estates retain the services of trust attorneys to help trustees figure things out. Even if a trust has named several trustees,...