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Can a California trustee be relieved of their duties?

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2021 | Trust Administration |

What can you do when your deceased loved one’s trust administrator does not fulfill his or her duties? Can trustees in California be relieved of their trust administration duties? Having problems with a trustee is a classic example highlighting how critical it is to pick the right person to administrate a trust.

It is notoriously hard to change a trust, including removing a trustee, after the trust maker has died. A trust becomes irrevocable (unchangeable) once death occurs to preserve the decedent’s recorded wishes. However, there are certain situations in which the removal of a trustee may be possible.

Grounds for the removal of a trustee

Under California law, the circumstances below may provide sufficient grounds to remove a trust’s administrator.

  • Trustee committed a breach of the trust
  • Trustee cannot afford to administrate the trust
  • Trustee is not fit to administrate the trust
  • Trustee fails in his or her trust administration duties
  • Trustee’s compensation is unreasonable or excessive
  • Trust administration impaired by hostility between co-trustees

If you believe you have grounds for removal, consider speaking with an estate planning attorney. A lawyer can conduct a thorough review of the trust documents to determine if removal is necessary. If trustee removal is the best course of action, you will already have a legal professional to help you with this process.

One way you can prevent trust administration problems is by having a professional manage your trust. Whether you choose an accountant or an attorney as your trustee, selecting a non-family member can help your loved ones better cope with your death. In turn, you and your family can rest easy knowing that your end-of-life wishes will be honored.

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