Duties Of Trustees

The California Probate Code contains a lot of rules applicable to the one who serves as the trustee of a trust. Starting with Code section 16000, California’s laws delineate the conduct of trustees ranging from activities the exercise of discretionary power to the content of reports prepared for the benefit of beneficiaries.

Selecting a trustee to run your estate in your place at the time you die ought to be done carefully and with a clear understanding of what the job requires. Once you’ve made up your mind about who to name as trustee in your trust, it is prudent to get that person’s consent to serve as your trustee. It is also important that the trustee understand the principles and duties governing his or her conduct vis-a-vis the trust. Here are a few things to know:

Accounts and accounting, beneficiaries

Actions and proceedings, defense and prosecution

Beneficiaries, reporting of information and accounts

Charitable trusts

Claims, enforcement


Delegation of duties, restriction

Discretionary powers, reasonable standards of care

Financial institutions, compensation for provision of services

Impartial treatment of beneficiaries

Notice to creditors

Preservation of trust property

Private foundations

Productivity of trust property

Reports, beneficiaries, when not required

Separation from property not subject to the trust

Skills, duty to apply fully

Split interest trusts

Violation of duties

For a free telephone consultation about your probate, call Los Angeles attorney Mitchell A. Port at (310) 559-5259.