Have you been named the Successor Trustee or 

received notification that you are the beneficiary of a Trust?

If so, don’t feel pressured.  One of the first things a successor trustee will have to do will be to notify the beneficiaries of the trust. In California, there are strict time frames within which these notices must be sent out, and the notices themselves must include some specific information regarding the trust.  In sum, your state will have quite specific rules to hold the Trustee accountable and sure the Trustee administers the Trust pursuant to the creator’s instructions.   

The notification process initiates the trust administration process and a new trustee will run the risk of breaching their fiduciary responsibilities if California trust notification requirements are not satisfied. 

A Trustee is required to provide notices to beneficiaries when:

  • A revocable living trust (such as a family trust) becomes an irrevocable trust because the creators of the trust have passed away
  • Someone passes away and a trust is formed by the terms of a will.

These notices are generally provided within 60 days of the event that initiated the trust.  Trustees are required to provide beneficiaries a copy of the complete terms of the trust upon request but the notice generally includes a complete copy of the trust.

What Happens Next?

Once a trustee has satisfied this first critical step of the trust administration process, the beneficiaries of the trust will have an opportunity to challenge the validity of any part of the trust for a distinct period of time. Specifically, beneficiaries will have 120 days from the date of the trust notice (or 60 days from the date on which they received this notice) to raise any issues they may have with a trust. This timeframe can extend to as long as four years if notices are not sent to beneficiaries of the trust.

If a beneficiary does raise any challenges to a trust, then these issues will need to be resolved before the rest of the trust administration process can proceed.

Beneficiaries will lose their opportunity to contest the trust later and the the trustee can proceed with his trust administration duties if no challenges are made.

If the Trustee administers the trust without meeting the specific notice requirements, they run the risk of beneficiaries filing legal action, at which point the Trustee could face serious consequences. 

Proper notification and administration pursuant to the rules protects all sides and Veracruz Law is to assist beneficiaries and Trustee in the process. 

Do you have more questions about your roles as a Trustee or your rights as a Beneficiary?  Submit the form below and insert any specific questions.  Our Team will get back to you to schedule a FREE ONE HOUR PLANNING & EDUCATION SESSION