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California Law Allows Living Trust Beneficiaries to Compel Accountings and Make Trustee's Report Their Management of Trust Money


In my last post, I described the living trust situation wherein my beneficiary clients believed that their father, trustee of the living trusts established by their grandparents for their benefit, was wrongfully withholding their funds, breaching his fiduciary duty as a trustee. Here is what I did as an advocate and attorney to protect their interests.

I should point out that California Probate Code §17200(b)(7) permits a living trust beneficiary to seek a court order requiring the trustee to report and account for his activities with the trust funds. Knowing this, I wrote a demand letter to the trustee (my clients’ father) informing him that I represented his children, that I had read the living trust, that the living trust required distribution to each child at age 21, and that he, as the trustee, had breached his fiduciary duty, as a trustee, to account to his children (the beneficiaries) and to distribute the funds. I further informed him that I would file a petition in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (where the living trust was located and domiciled) to compel an accounting and distribution if my clients’ demands were not met.

The trustee’s initial response to my clients’ demands was to delay and promise that an accounting would be forthcoming.

I will describe what happened next in my next post.

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