Trustee’s Duty to Notify Beneficiaries

California Probate Code 16061.7, also known as the “Trustee’s Duty to Notify Beneficiaries,” is a crucial provision in California trust law that requires trustees to provide notice to beneficiaries when there is a change in the trust or a distribution is made. This law applies to revocable living trusts and irrevocable trusts in California.

The purpose of this law is to ensure that beneficiaries are informed about the trust and its administration, and to allow them to protect their interests by challenging any actions taken by the trustee that they believe are improper. By requiring notice, beneficiaries have an opportunity to object to any proposed changes or distributions before they become final.

Under California Probate Code 16061.7, a trustee must provide written notice to all beneficiaries of a trust within 60 days of any of the following events:

  1. The creation of a new trust
  2. The amendment or revocation of an existing trust
  3. The removal or addition of a trustee
  4. The death of the settlor (the person who created the trust)
  5. The distribution of trust property to a beneficiary

The notice must include specific information about the trust, such as the name and address of the trustee, the settlor, and any co-trustees, as well as a statement that the beneficiary is entitled to receive a copy of the trust document upon request. Additionally, the notice must include a warning that any legal action to contest the trust must be brought within 120 days of the date the notice is served.

It is important to note that the notice must be provided to all beneficiaries, even if they are minors or incapacitated. If a beneficiary is a minor or incapacitated, the notice must also be provided to their legal representative or guardian. Failure to provide notice to a beneficiary can result in the trustee being held liable for any damages the beneficiary incurs as a result of not receiving notice.

California Probate Code 16061.8 is an essential provision in California trust law that ensures transparency and fairness in the administration of trusts. By requiring trustees to provide notice to beneficiaries, it allows them to protect their interests and hold trustees accountable for any improper actions. If you are a trustee or a beneficiary of a trust, it is crucial to be aware of this law and to comply with its requirements to avoid any legal issues