Trust litigation lawyers, by default, become frequent advocates for the protection of trust beneficiaries and the assertion of their clients' rights. Ongoing complaints regarding the systemic overreach of banks, trust companies and California licensed professional fiduciaries acting as trustees are made at administrative levels and litigated, for the most part, at the probate court level.
I'll start with a disclaimer. We represent beneficiaries who have been abused by banks, trust companies and professional fiduciaries.
California "licensing is required for non-family member professional fiduciaries who serve as...trustees for at least four non-related trustors."
Trustees are generally authorized by the terms of the trust or by statute to distribute trust assets, in kind, in cash, or both.
All of us have parts of our lives that are on "cruise control" - actions done with little reflection or consideration. We can make efforts to go beyond this.
Whether it's nonchalance, contempt, self-interest or ignorance, delayed trust beneficiary distributions can be truly distressing. Timely trust distributions are welcome, but unfortunately trustees don't always act in the best interests of beneficiaries.
Grandma and Grandpa have a trust. Their trust provides that at their first death, the trust assets will remain in trust for the benefit of the survivor. At the survivor's death, all trust assets are to be distributed in equal shares to their three children, Steve, Frank and Eve.
It's not easy to be a trustee - for a lot of reasons. Some particularly challenging aspects of the job involve trust beneficiary distribution decisions - decisions inherent to trust administration.