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Stay on Track: Why won’t your California Trustee Just Follow the Law?

You’re entitled to a distribution and you should receive it within a reasonable time. Typically, trust beneficiaries expect to receive their inheritance in a year or less, depending on the complexities of the estate.

What happens when your Trustee won’t follow the terms of the Trust? Why aren’t they following the law? What options do you have if your Trustee refuses to distribute your rightful inheritance to you in a reasonable amount of time?

You could try to talk to the Trustee. You could plead with the Trustee. You could threaten the Trustee with a lawsuit. You could send texts and emails to the Trustee. You could write letters to the Trustee. You could hire a lawyer to write letters to the Trustee. But what happens if none of this works? Trustees sometimes ignore verbal and written requests from beneficiaries and even their lawyers.

The only way to truly force a trustee to act is by going to court. If a trustee fails to respond to verbal requests and letters, there is no consequence unless you seek the assistance of the court.

Once you go to court you can request the judge to order the trustee to do things.  You can seek the Trustee’s removal. You can seek to hold the Trustee liable for damages. You can issue subpoenas. You can take depositions. A whole world of devices open up that will help you get through this problem and ultimately get you the distribution that you deserve.

Every situation is different. Sometimes the Trustee just needs a little handholding. It’s possible your trustee might do the right thing without going to court. If that doesn’t work, then court is your only option.