Tracy, CA asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California

Q: If my father left me money in his trust, can the trustee change that trust when he passes away

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3 Lawyer Answers
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Carlsbad, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: No. Absolutely not. The Trustee must follow the instructions of the Trust.

Yelena Gurevich and James Edward Berge agree with this answer

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
Answered
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If the trustee is attempting to disinherit you from your trust, you need to take proper action. The first thing to do is to retain an attorney to review the trust and contact the trustee regarding your concerns. Find an Estate or Probate attorney here on Justia.

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James Edward Berge agrees with this answer

Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • San Mateo, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: While it's possible the trustee may have the power to control the circumstances, timing, and amount of any trust distributions, it's not likely the trustee can change the provisions of the trust. There are times, for example, when a beneficiary may have a substance abuse issue. In those situations, the trust likely requires the beneficiary to prove they are clean and/or sober for a certain period of time before the trustee is allowed to make a distribution. There are a multitide of possibilities here, but bottom line is, an attorney needs to review the trust.

Once your father passes away, the trustee within 60 days is required to send you a notice of the trust as well as either enclosing a copy of the trust or letting you know you have a right to request a copy of it.

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