Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Law
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Can you resign from being a trustee?

Assuming the responsibility of acting as the trustee for a trust set up by a family member or friend in Woodland Hills is a huge undertaking, and certainly one that should not be taken without a good deal of thought and careful contemplation. Yet even after having given your best effort, circumstances may make performing your duties as a trustee impossible. The question then becomes is there a method by which you can legally resign from the role?

California’s Probate Code does allow you to resign from being a trustee by certain methods. The first is through any methods detailed in the trust instrument itself. If there are none, and the trust is revocable, you can contact who has been given the power to revoke the trust (either the settlor or parties who have been given that privilege), and asked to be released from your role. If the trust is irrevocable, you need to have the consent of all of the adult beneficiaries of the trust in order to resign. The law also allows you to petition the court to accept your resignation as trustee.

When resigning the role, you should also take the necessary steps to ensure that the trust’s administration will go on without you. To do this, you should:

  •          Review the trust instrument to see if a successor trustee has been named. If one has not, the court will appoint a new one.
  •          Prepare a record of all documentation detailing your activities as trustee to give to your successor.
  •          Prepare a letter of resignation, reserving copies for the court, the successor trustee and all trust beneficiaries.

Keep in mind that resigning as trustee does not release you of any liability stemming from acts commenced while you were still operating in that role. 

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