Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Law
Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo  Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo
Free Initial Consultation

Phone: 818-676-9572

Trustees Archives

California's order of preference for conservators

For many in Woodland Hills, their greatest fear may be having to be placed under the care of another. Second to that may be the concern that if they do become incapable of caring for themselves, that the person assigned as their guardian or conservator is selected solely at the discretion of the court. While it is true that California law does state that the court does have the ultimate authority to determine who should be the conservator of a person and his or her estate, it does also make room for special considerations to be given to a conservatee and his or her family. 

Woman looking to take back control of estate from trustee

Assuming the role of trustee over a trust account in Woodland Hills may be an unenviable task. By doing so, one agrees to manage the trust assets of another for the benefit of designated beneficiaries. Of course, those beneficiaries may not always be keen to know that their interest in their trust funds is out of their control. These frustrations may often come to a head when the trustee attempts to block any dispersals that he or she believes may be in violation of the trust's purposes. While beneficiaries (as well as others who may have their own interests in a trust's assets) may not like such a move, it should be remembered that it is only being done in what is believed to be their best interests. 

Why choose cotrustees?

When sitting down to consider your estate planning options in Woodland Hills, you might want to keep the idea of managing your assets through a trust towards the front of your mind. This will hopefully ensure their wise management for the benefit of your beneficiaries (or yourself, should you become incapacitated). One question then looms: Who should you choose to be your trustee? You can always go with a bank or legal firm, yet such a decision will likely cost more than having a family member or trusted friend fill the role. It is for this reason why many choose to keep their trustees in the family. Yet when doing so, some say it might be wiser to name a team of co-trustees. 

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.

Evaluating transactions made by a trustee

A number of different responsibilities accompany the role of trustee in Woodland Hills. One who assumes this role should do his or her due diligence is researching them all in order to avoid accusations of breaching his or her fiduciary duty. Such allegations can be quite common when it comes to arranging transactions involving trust assets. Given the interest that beneficiaries hold in a trust, one might assume that they will subject every sale or claim initiated by a trustee to a great amount of scrutiny.

How can one ensure the duties of a trustee are fulfilled?

Assuming the role of trustee for a trust created by a family member, friend or colleague in Woodland Hills is a huge responsibility, and certainly not a request you should consider fulfilling without first dedicating a significant amount of thought and care to it. By accepting such a responsibility, you assume a number of duties, both to the settlor and to the beneficiaries of the trust. To ensure that that you put forth your best effort in completing your duties as a trustee, interested parties to the trust may require a performance or surety bond.

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?

Identifying reimbursable expenses for a personal representative

Assuming the role of personal representative for the estate of a family member or friend in Woodland Hills means making a huge commitment of both your time and effort. If you are not familiar with estate or probate law, you may have to put in additional hours of research on top of the time spent actually performing your duties. Many come to us here at The Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo asking if they can be paid for agreeing to be a personal representative. The payment guidelines for your services as a personal representative have been detailed in the blog before. This post will address which of your expenses may be reimbursable.

Detailing the duty to submit an estate inventory and appraisal

Those who come to us here at The Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo after having been named as the personal representative for the estate of a deceased acquaintance in Woodland Hills consider such an appointment to be quite an honor. However, if you have been asked to fill such a role, you should understand that there are a great number of responsibilities that come with it. If your experience in estate law is limited, then it may benefit you to research what your expected duties are immediately after learning of your appointment. This is because the law requires a certain immediate action of you: the submission of an inventory and appraisal of the estate’s assets.

What is a trustee’s standard of care?

When you are party to a trust in Woodland Hills, you no doubt have interest in the actions of the trustee. His or her performance in this role could directly affect your interest in the trust’s assets. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to know the basic standards that he or she is required by law to abide by if the question of a potential breach of his or her fiduciary duty were to ever come up.