Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo
Start Your Solution. Schedule a Free Consultation Today.

How do you formally accept the role of a trustee?

Taking on the role of being a trustee to an instrument or account created by a family member, friend or colleague in Woodland Hills is a large responsibility, and certainly one that should not be taken lightly. You may do well to consider the matter for a time before actually accepting the role. While some (including even possibly the settlor) may question your apprehension in immediately assuming the responsibility, your prudence may ultimately help ensure that the trust is handled properly. The question, however, is whether or not the law automatically assigns you this responsibility.

The guidelines and requirements for assuming the role of a trustee can be found in Section 15600 of the California Trust Code. In this section, it states that in order to accept a trust (and, by extension, the job of trustee), you must either sign a written acceptance of the responsibility or the trust instrument itself. Even if, however, you do not sign anything designating yourself as the trustee, it is assumed that you have accepted such a role if you knowingly begin to exercise the powers assigned to the trustee in the trust instrument.

What about in situations where no trustee has been named, yet action is required in order to preserve the trust property? The law does allow you to do what is necessary to retain ownership and interests in all of a trust’s assets without assuming the role of trustee. If you must exercise these powers yet have no intention of becoming the trustee, you must deliver a written refusal of the trust to the settlor within a reasonable amount of time after having done so. If the settlor has passed away or is incompetent, that written refusal can be delivered to any of the trust’s beneficiaries. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For a Response

Contact Us

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Office Location:

Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo
20350 Ventura Boulevard
Suite 110
Woodland Hills, CA 91364

Phone: 818-676-9572
Fax: 818-716-9275
Map & Directions

  • Super Lawyers
  • Peer Review Rated