Many people in San Diego are in the position of choosing a successor trustee for their living trust or they may be beneficiaries of a trust and wonder if the trustee is managing or distributing their inheritances properly. Generally the trustee must administer the trust according to the terms of the trust and the California Probate Code. Here are some of the duties of a trustee of an irrevocable trust in California.
Duty of Loyalty. The trustee must administer the trust in the best interest of the beneficiaries, not using the power to the detriment of any beneficiary.
Duty of Impartiality. Similarly, the trustee must treat all beneficiaries the same, not favor one over another or if the trustee is also a beneficiary, giving himself or herself favor.
Duty to Avoid Conflicts of Interest. The trustee must avoid situations where the trust’s interests and the trustee’s interests conflict. These situations may arise when a beneficiary owns property in which the trust also has an interest or when a trustee wants to purchase a trust asset.
Duty to Control and Preserve Trust Property and Make the Trust Assets Productive. The trustee has an obligation to identify the trust assets and preserve them so they are not dissipated or lost. A trustee also has a duty to make sure the assets are invested wisely.
Duty to Report and Account to Beneficiaries. The Trustee must keep the beneficiaries informed about the trust administration. The trustee must also prepare statements regarding the assets and financial transactions of the trust to the beneficiaries upon request and at least annually if not requested.
These are just some of the duties of a trustee in California. For more general information, read our article on trust administration. If you need information about your specific situation, contact us at Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation for a complimentary consultation. We handle trust administration, representing trustees and beneficiaries throughout San Diego County.