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For a trustee, being legally responsible for managing, investing, and distributing trust assets can be a daunting task, especially since the trustee is also legally liable should any breach of fiduciary duties occur. Consequently, if you are a trustee who wishes to resign or a beneficiary who wishes to remove a certain trustee, you have to act according to the guidelines dictated by California’s trust laws.

In the event that you are a trustee who wishes to resign, you can accomplish this by declaring that you no longer want to serve, by being removed with the consent of the interested parties or by having a court order remove you. In any case, it is important to make sure that you act in accordance with the proper procedures; otherwise, you will still be liable for the trust. Alternatively, if you are a beneficiary trying to remove a trustee, you can acquire a court order to remove them by proving that they have breached one of their fiduciary duties, that they have been self-dealing or that they have been stealing from the trust’s assets.

After a trust has lost its trustee, it is necessary to appoint a new one, and several trusts contain provisions pertaining to naming a new trustee. Should a trust fail to acquire a successor trustee, either the interested parties or the courts can appoint one.

It is worth pointing out that the laws governing trusts along with a trustee’s fiduciary duties, resignation requirements and appointment procedures are convoluted. If you are a trustee considering resigning or a beneficiary wanting to remove a trustee, you can visit our page on trust administration or contact an Orange County Trustee & Fiduciary Responsibilities Lawyer here. We have experience when it comes to trust administration, and we are committed to making sure that any fiduciary duties are carried out to the satisfaction of all parties involved.