Duties of successor trustee to beneficiaries of California trust on death of settlor

The duties of the successor trustee are fiduciary

The successor trustee has fiduciary duties to such beneficiaries as set forth in the trust and as required by California law.

The successor trustee must follow the instructions set forth in the trust and comply with California law. Important laws are provided in this article.

—Mark W. Bidwell

HUNTINGTON BEACH, California, USA, April 14, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Upon the death of the settlor, the persons identified in the trust become beneficiaries and a successor trustee is identified. These new beneficiaries receive access to the assets of the trust as specified in the trust. Successor trustee has fiduciary duties to beneficiaries as set forth in the trust and as mandated by California law.

In California, the vast majority of trusts are created to avoid probate and to avoid direct distribution of assets to minors or children with special needs. For the first ten percent, trusts can also be used to minimize or reduce estate taxes.

A trust has three actors: the creator who is also called the settlor; the trustee who is responsible for managing the assets held by the trust and a beneficiary who has access to the assets held by the trust. There are two types of beneficiaries; those with an immediate right to the assets of the trust (invested beneficiaries) and those whose right is contingent on the termination of a vesting beneficiary’s right (contingent beneficiaries).

Most commonly, when creating a trust; the settlor, trustee and beneficiary are the same person. When the settlor dies, this unity of actors is broken. The constituent remains the same. But another person identified in the trust becomes the successor trustee.

The successor trustee must follow the instructions set out in the trust. The successor trustee must also comply with California law. Important California Laws for a Trustee to Know are: to keep the beneficiaries of the trust reasonably informed of the trust and its administration; provide a copy of the trust to the beneficiaries of the trust and the heirs of the deceased; report to the beneficiaries, upon reasonable request, by providing the beneficiary with information relating to the administration of the trust relevant to the interest of the beneficiary; and provide annual accounts to a beneficiary, upon termination of the trust and upon a change of trustee.

On the death of the settlor, the persons identified in the trust become beneficiaries and a successor trustee is identified. These new beneficiaries receive access to the assets of the trust as specified in the trust. The successor trustee has fiduciary duties to such beneficiaries as set forth in the trust and as required by California law.

This article is written by Mark W. Bidwell, a California attorney. The office is located at 4952 Warner Avenue, Suite 235, Huntington Beach, CA 92649. The phone is 714-846-2888. The email is [email protected]

Marc Bidwell
Mark W. Bidwell, a law firm
+1 714-846-2888
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