Danville, CA asked in Probate for California

Q: Trustee making statements that she can move forth At her discretion and will block beneficiary’s number.

My grandmother passed away two weeks ago. The family has been notified by A friend of hers who is stated to be the quoted trustee of her trust. She has stated that after 30days of the receipt of the death certificate she will mail a copy of the trust to all beneficiaries. She has also stated that until the death certificates have been issued she does not have to give up any information about the estate or what she is currently doing doing with it. The family keeps asking questions about where the body is and when will they be able to have closure with the death and she states that she has discretion to move as she wants and stares that the closure for the family was when she allowed them to see her in the hospital and speak their heart out to her. She is now threatening to block phone numbers Stop communication because she is the “trustee and attorney in fact.”

What are the beneficiary rights to asking questions from her and is there a way to go around her and to the attorney?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • San Jose, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: A trustee has a duty of loyalty, fair mindedness and accountability to all beneficiaries of the trust with respect to trust-owned assets. A trustee does not have the right to withhold information from beneficiaries upon reasonable request. Google the search term trustee duties and see for yourself. A trustee cannot be an attorney in fact for a principal who has died. An agent acting under an advance health care directive is responsible for the body and disposition of remains. The trustee’s attorney will not be able to speak to you because that would violate his duty of confidentiality with respect to his client. You really should hire a probate attorney to advise you and to enforce your rights. A trustee who abuses her power can be removed, powers suspended, and forced to account. Good luck!

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