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Successor Trustee

Duties of the Successor Trustee

The Successor PieBecoming a Successor Trustee is an important decision, and one not to be taken lightly. If you have already made the important decision to take on the responsibility for being a Successor Trustee, or have been asked by a family member or friend to become one in the future, the following descriptions of the statutory requirements of a trustee may provide answers to certain questions or concerns you have regarding the position of the successor trustee.

On acceptance of the trust, the successor trustee has a duty to administer the trust according to the trust instrument and sections of the Probate Code (sec. 16000 et seq.). Some of those duties include:

  1. Trustee has a duty to administer the trust solely in the interest of the beneficiaries, which means dealing impartially with two or more beneficiaries, particularly in investing and managing the trust property, taking into account any differing interests of the beneficiaries.

  2. A trustee has a duty not to use or deal with trust property for the trustee's own profit or for any other purpose unconnected with the trust, nor to take part in any transaction in which the trustee has an interest adverse to the beneficiary.

  3. A trustee must make trust property productive, unless otherwise directed by the trust instrument.

  4. A trustee must keep trust property separate from other property not subject to the trust, including his or her own property.

  5. A trustee must take reasonable steps to enforce claims of the trust and defend actions that may result in a loss to the trust.

  6. A 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 in the conduct of an enterprise of like character and with like aims to accomplish the purposes of the trust as determined from the trust instrument.

  7. A trustee shall exercise reasonable care, skill, and caution in investing trust assets. In making and implementing investment decisions, the trustee has a duty to diversify the investments of the trust.

  8. A trustee must keep the beneficiaries reasonably informed of the trust and its administration.
 
 
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Daniela Lungu

Law Offices of Daniela Lungu
4695 Chabot Drive, Suite 200
Pleasanton, CA 94588

Phone: (925) 558-2710
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