Our Blog Posts


Truth or consequences: how much does a California Trustee have to pay back?

If a Trustee breaches a duty, what is the amount for which they are liable? The answer may surprise you. Basically, the Trustee is chargeable with three things: (1) any loss or depreciation in value incurred by the Trust, (2) any profit made by the Trustee, and (3) any profit that would have been made by the Trust were it not ...

Read More

Reasonableness: is it too much to ask of your California Trustee?

You can sum up a California Trustee’s duty of care in one word: Reasonable. Well that sounds…reasonable. To be precise, California Probate Code section 16040(a) states the standard of care this way: The trustee shall administer the trust with reasonable care, skill, and caution under the circumstances then prevailing that a prudent person acting in a like capacity would use ...

Read More

Skeletons in your closet? Time to shut the door using a Motion in Limine

Do you have anything in your past that you are a little embarrassed about, or perhaps something unpleasant such as a nasty divorce, an arrest, a bankruptcy? Everyone has something in their past that they would like to forget. And yet, when you’re in a Trust or Will lawsuit the opposing party goes out of their way to dredge up ...

Read More

Some Rules are Made to Be Broken: How a deadline to contest a California Trust may not apply to you

Under California law you only have 120 days after receiving notice to challenge the validity of a Trust. (See Probate Code section 16061.8.) That is a bright-line deadline that cannot be changed once notice is served. Or is it? What if a Trust is revoked before death; is a 120-day notice effective to challenging a revoked Trust? The California Appellate ...

Read More

I Declare! This property belongs to my California Trust

In its simplest form, a Trust is merely the holding of money by a person for the benefit of someone else. When a friend hands you his wallet until he gets back, a Trust is formed. Trusts cannot be formed without property transferring from the hands of the owner to the hands of the Trustee. We call this Trust funding. ...

Read More