Serving as the trustee of a California trust often requires a substantial amount of time and energy. As a result, most Anaheim trustees are entitled to receive reasonable compensation for their time and services. Unfortunately, some trustees do take advantage of this fact and pay themselves excessive fees. In order to protect yourself from such an accusation by a beneficiary or other interested party, consider taking the following actions:
- Consult with a knowledgeable Anaheim trust attorney before accepting compensation. Your lawyer will help you to assess the facts and circumstances surrounding the trust administration to determine a reasonable fee.
- Review the trust instrument to determine whether the matter of trustee compensation is clearly spelled out.
- Consider the factors that the probate court would apply in the event that a beneficiary or other party challenged your compensation as unreasonable.
- Determine the rates that would be charged by corporate trustees in your area for trusts of similar sizes.
- Consider whether there is a customary rate for trust administration in your geographic area.
- If you are still concerned, consider seeking approval from a California probate court.
Administering a trust in California requires knowledge of the trust laws, experience with the administration process, and an understanding of the duties and obligations of a trustee. Fortunately, our office of experienced Anaheim trust attorneys can help ensure that you comply with all of these requirements and administer the trust to the best of your abilities. Contact us today at (714) 282-7488 for a consultation.