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Hi, this is Keith Davidson from Albertson & Davidson. In this video, I want to talk about how do you handle a bad trustee who refuses to communicate with you.
One of the biggest problems we see for trust beneficiaries is that their trustee simply doesn’t communicate with them. The trustee may not tell you what the assets of the trust are, may not explain what the investments are, may refuse to talk to you about a sale of the assets, sale of real property or even sale of stocks, and may refuse to talk to you about when assets will be distributed. Even when the trust terms require distributions, a lot of times a bad trustee refuses to talk to you about those issues.
Unfortunately, a lot of individual private people who act as trustee of these trusts, they think they can do whatever they want to do. They think that they’re in charge and they have the right to do whatever they want. But that’s not true. There’s actually a whole set of laws under our California Probate Code, not to mention all the rules under most trust documents, that require a trustee to do a lot of different things for a beneficiary. And top on that list is communicating. A trustee simply must communicate with the beneficiaries. It doesn’t matter if the beneficiaries are hard to deal with or they get angry or they yell, or whatever the situation is, a trustee still must communicate with the beneficiaries and keep the beneficiaries reasonably informed of all the actions that the trustee is taking on behalf of the trust.
And they certainly should be keeping beneficiaries informed about distributions from the trust because that is an important part of the entire trust administration process. So the next time you’re in a situation where you have a bad trustee who refuses to communicate with you, you need to take action and that’s what our California Probate Courts are for is to help you get the answers and the communication and the information that you’re entitled to as a trust beneficiary.