What should I do if there is disagreement among the beneficiaries with regard to the distribution of California trust assets?

While the goal of any estate plan in California is to provide for a smooth and efficient transfer of the estate assets, conflicts do arise in some situations. Unfortunately, successor trustees must be mindful of their actions when administering a trust in order to reduce the likelihood that a lawsuit is brought with regard to the trust. Conflict sometimes arises when the distribution of the trust assets is about to occur. If you are in this situation, consider taking the following actions:

  • Contact an experienced Anaheim trust attorney immediately for guidance. A knowledgeable legal professional can help ensure that you are following all applicable rules, laws, and regulations related to trust administration, as well as properly carrying out the distributions outlined in the trust.
  • Prepare a formal accounting of your actions as trustee.
  • Consider seeking court approval from a California probate court with regard to those actions, as well as your proposed distribution scheme.
  • Allow for unhappy beneficiaries to voice their concerns without pursuing a lawsuit by seeking this court approval prior to making distributions.

Seeking court approval before making distributions shortens the length of time in which a beneficiary can object or file a claim. If you do not seek prior court approval, the beneficiary may have as long as three years to pursue litigation.

For more information about living trusts and asset distributions, view our free guide, Understanding the Revocable Living Trust - In Language that Anyone Can Understand in 8 Minutes. The knowledgeable Anaheim trust lawyers at the Law Office of James F. Roberts & Associates, APC, can provide further guidance. Call our office today at (714) 459-5481 for a consultation.

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm