Some Common Trust Administration Questions Our Clients Ask
At Van Dyke & Associates, APLC, our trial attorneys have extensive experience in the complex and nuanced field of California trust and estate law. Many of our cases come to us by way of attorney, financial adviser or accountant referral.
The frequently asked questions below address some of the questions or concerns you may have about trust administration. For answers to your specific questions, we invite you to arrange a consultation with us.
I received notice from the successor trustee about my grandfather’s trust. How do I get a complete copy of that trust?
You have a right to a full copy of the content of the trust. You may request one from the successor trustee. If you do not receive a copy of the trust in a timely manner, speak with an experienced trust and estate administration attorney.
Our father did not update his trust after divorcing his first wife, not our mother. Can we, as children of his second marriage, contest his irrevocable trust?
Yes. Contesting or challenging an irrevocable trust is possible for grounds of undue influence, lack of capacity, fraud, invalid documents or divorce.
Generally, there is a time limit of 120 days after receiving notice of the trust, or 60 days after the full copy of the trust is mailed or served upon the recipient, whichever is later, to file your legal objections to the trust.
How long do we, as beneficiaries, have to file a claim against a successor trustee for breaching their financial duties?
The sooner a claim is filed, the better. A breach of financial duties could adversely affect the overall value of the trust. Sometimes the remedy is to remove the trustee, which could save the integrity and value of the trust. Contact Van Dyke & Associates, APLC, to discuss this timeline and your legal options.
I do not have time to administer a trust. Can I resign as successor trustee?
A trustee’s responsibilities in administering the trust can be highly complex and time-consuming. If you are unable to fulfill your fiduciary duties, you may resign by following the instructions in the trust.
If the trust is revocable, you may contact the trustor, or the person who has the authority to revoke the trust, to consent to your resignation.
If the trust has become irrevocable, you may inform the trust’s adult beneficiaries. You may also seek the court’s permission to resign as trustee. You may be required to filing an accounting of all trust transactions you conducted while trustee, however, the beneficiaries could waive this requirement.
Before resigning, have a conversation with a knowledgeable trust administration attorney. You will need to give notice to the beneficiaries and heirs.