I recently published an article on Avvo titled "5 Ways to Get in Trouble as a Successor Trustee." The full article can be viewed here.
In my article, I outlined five things you should not do as a successor trustee. They are as follows:
- Don't notify the heirs and beneficiaries of the change in status of the trust and trustee.
- Refuse to let the heirs and beneficiaries have a copy of the trust document.
- Don't keep receipts and records of the transactions performed.
- Refuse to account to beneficiaries.
- Delay distributions of principal and income without good cause.
By law, the successor trustee must notify the named beneficiaries and the deceased settlor's heirs of any changes in the status of the trust or the trustee within 60 days. Refusal to provide a copy of the trust to any heir or beneficiary upon reasonable request is against the California Probate Code.
Trustees are also accountable to the beneficiaries and heirs. Trustees must therefore keep detailed records of all money spent from the trust. If you are a trustee, then keep those receipts and record all transactions!
Refusal to account to a beneficiary or heir who made a reasonable request is also against the law. It is also unlawful to have any unreasonable delay in distributing principal and income to an heir or beneficiary without good cause.
Further details are outlined in the full article.
Are you a successor trustee? Do you need legal representation from a Castro Valley probate lawyer? Contact Randick O’Dea Tooliatos Vermont & Sargent for a consultation!