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Filling a Vacated Trustee’s Office

The success a trust achieves in managing the assets therein may depend largely on the capabilities of the trustee. Many often come to us here at the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo concerned over the office of a trustee having been vacated. If you are an interested party to a trust, then it may prove to be beneficial for you to understand the process followed to replace a trustee if you happen to encounter such as scenario.

There are any number of reasons why a trustee’s role may be vacated. The person designated as such by the trust instrument may die, or he or she may simply refuse to assume those responsibilities. In any event, section 15660 of the California Probate Code lists the proper way to fill a vacated trustee’s office as follows:

  •          First, any instructions in the trust instrument naming the replacement trustee or outlining a process to replace the trustee will be honored.
  •          If no such instructions are given, then the role of trustee may be assumed by a trust company. In order for this to happen, you (if you are a beneficiary) and all of the other adult beneficiaries of the trust must agree on this action.
  •          If you and the other beneficiaries cannot come to an agreement, you or another interested party may petition the court to select a replacement.

When selecting a replacement, the court will first consider if you or any other person interested in the trust are qualified to serve as trustee. If not, it will then often name the public guardian or administrator of the county in which the matter is being considered to the role.

More information on understanding the role of a trustee can be found here on our site.