CA Trust, Estate & Probate Litigation

CA Trust, Estate & Probate Litigation

Category Archives: Trust Administration

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Legal Loopholes: How California Trustees Escape Liability

Posted in Trust Administration, Trustee Breach of Trust, Trustee Removal
You may be surprised to learn that there are a number of ways that a bad Trustee can escape liability in Court. For starters, if the Trustee disclosed a questionable transaction in writing to you, you only have three years in which to file a lawsuit. But that’s just the start. Consent, release, and exculpation… Continue Reading

It You Got ‘Em…Flaunt ‘Em: A California Trustee’s Duty to Use Special Skill

Posted in Trust Administration, Trustee Breach of Trust, Trustee Removal
“If you got it, flaunt it baby!” That’s one of my favorite lines from the movie The Producers by Mel Brooks. The same can be said of California Trustees (although not referring to their looks of course). For Trustees, if you have a special skill you are expected to use them. For example, if you… Continue Reading

Top 10 Things Every California Trust Beneficiary Must Know!

Posted in Podcasts, Trust Administration, Trustee Breach of Trust, Trustee Removal, Uncategorized
If you are the beneficiary of a California Trust, there are a few things you ought to know to help you understand and protect your rights as a Trust beneficiary.  Here’s the Top 10 things you must know as a Trust beneficiary: 1.  Know your Trust. Read it and then read it again.  If you… Continue Reading

Is Donald Sterling Crazy, or is Shelly Sterling Crazy Like a Fox? How a little known California Trust provision could save or sink a $2 billion deal

Posted in Lack of Capacity, Trust Administration, Trustee Removal, Uncategorized
One of the biggest benefits of creating a revocable, living Trust is that it allows your successor Trustee to manage your affairs if you lose capacity.  Sounds good, but who decides when your capacity is kaput? That will be the question for the Court to decide on Monday, July 7th when a Los Angeles County… Continue Reading

Trustee: Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200

Posted in Trust Administration
The California Court of Appeal (Sixth District) has clarified when a Trustee’s compensation can be limited in Thorpe vs. Reed, decided this month.  Thorpe involved a special needs trust that had be created for Danny Reed, who had been the victim of two separate auto accidents.  Danny’s mother, Jolaine Allen, was initially appointed the Trustee… Continue Reading

California Trustees Must Provide Beneficiaries and Heirs with Copies of Last Will, Living Trust, and Amendments

Posted in Trust Administration
I get calls every week from California Trust, Last Will, and Estate beneficiaries complaining that they can’t get their brother or sister, who is the Trustee and Executor of their parents’ estate plan, to provide copies of the parents’ estate plan after the parents have died. I usually suggest the following. First, send a letter… Continue Reading

The Tricky Tightrope of Trust Administration–How Should a California Trust be Administered?

Posted in Trust Administration
To hear estate planning attorneys talk, you would think a revocable, living trust cures all ills.  And yet, so many trust cases find their way to Court—the one place the settlor hoped to avoid by making a Trust in the first place. While all Trusts can potentially wind up in Court—that venue should be avoided. … Continue Reading

The Best (Private) Trustee in the World!

Posted in Trust Administration
I happen to represent the best private Trustee in the world.  No offense to professional Trustees—this does not include them.  In the world of private individuals who act as Trustees, not as a professional calling, but by way of happenstance or accident, there aren’t many who do such a good job.  It’s understandable, being a… Continue Reading

Troubled Trust Administrations: How to navigate the sometimes dangerous waters of California Trust Administration

Posted in Trust Administration
We spend a good deal of time and effort discussing the mistakes Trustee’s make in administering California Trust’s.  From bad management, to problems investing assets, to misinformed or even bad Trustees.  But not all the blame for ugly Trust administrations lies with Trustees.  Beneficiaries can cause their share of problems too. That’s what I call… Continue Reading

Simon says, “California Trustees: Follow the Trust Terms”

Posted in Trust Administration
Shouldn’t Trust administration be like a game of Simon says?  That’s the old school yard game where one person gives an instruction, but you’re only supposed to follow the instruction if it is preceded by the phrase, “Simon says.”  For example, Simon says, “Touch your nose.” Simon says, “Touch your toes.” Simon says, “Make proper… Continue Reading

Trust Investing: A California Trustee’s duty to invest assets prudently

Posted in Litigation, Trust Administration
California Trustees, Executors and Conservators have a legal duty to manage assets conservatively and “prudently.”  The rules are set out in the California Probate Code under the Uniform Prudent Investor Act.  In this video we have a brief discussion of Trust investing.  For those viewing this blog by email subscription, you can click on the… Continue Reading

Trustee’s Fees Must Be Reasonable and for the Benefit of the Trust–Not the Benefit of the Trustee

Posted in Trust Administration
Bad trustees always seem to waste trust money defending their improper actions. Once a trust beneficiary challenges a trustee’s improper actions (breaches of trust), the trustee retaliates against the beneficiary. For example, the trustee may choose to suspend current monthly distributions, or in more extreme cases, attempt to have a no contest clause in a… Continue Reading