In California, most of our Trust laws, the laws that apply to Trustees, to Trust Administration, and to the distribution of assets to Beneficiaries, can be found in the California Probate Code. You can find the California Probate Code by going online and searching Google for California Probate Code. One of the websites you’ll find is one entitled California Legislative Info. This site was established by our California legislature and one of the tabs on that website will get you to the California Codes. And one of the Codes is the Probate Code.
The nice thing about the California Probate Code is it’s very robust. There’s a lot of rules and requirements stated in the Code. The other source of law for California is court cases. California is a common law jurisdiction and court cases do have to supplant and supplement the written law in the Probate Code. In California, a lot of our laws are written in the Probate Code.
If you’re in a state outside of California, you have some form of Probate Code. In fact, many states have adopted the Uniform Probate Code. It may not be quite as robust as the California Code, because the California Code is quite extensive, but it will be similar in a lot of its provisions.
I’ve been to a lot of states’ legislative websites and I’ve been able to find their state Code, so I would think that you could probably find any state’s Probate Code there.
And a lot of states will also use, of course, court decisions. Those can be a little bit harder to find, but you can always check out Google Scholar. That’s a really great free resource to find court cases all over the country, and it certainly will help you find some of the laws in your jurisdiction.