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California Living Trust Trustee Must Respond to Petition for Accounting

Messina & Hankin LLP

Previously, I described sending a demand letter to the father of my clients, beneficiaries of their grandparents’ living trust. I demanded that the father, as trustee of their trusts, account to them for his activities as trustee as well as distribute to each of them their beneficiary shares of the living trust. His response was less than forthcoming.

After giving the trustee enough time to do what he should have done, I filed a petition to compel an accounting (California Probate Code §17200(b)(7)) in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Central Judicial District (i.e. in downtown Los Angeles)). I also requested the court to issue a “Citation” (a citation serves a similar purpose to a summons in civil litigation) pursuant to California Probate Code §§1240, 1241 and 1242, which, after service on him in accordance with California Code of Civil Procedure §413.10 compels the father, as trustee, to appear in court and explain why the court should not order him to account in accordance with the petition that I filed on behalf of the my clients, the beneficiaries of the living trust.

After being served with the Citation, the trustee appeared in court, with his attorney, and the battle was joined. Suffice to say that the court inquired as to how long the trustee would need to prepare the accounting and ordered that it be so. The court also set a date for the hearing (like a trial) on the petition.

I will explain what the accounting disclosed in my next entry.

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