Daily Law Group
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What are the grounds to remove a trustee?

While being the beneficiary of a trust offers you some degree of security, it can also be the source of frustration in that you may feel subject to the whims of the trustee. From a high-level view, it may seem as though a trustee has all of the power over both a trust's property and its beneficiaries. Yet in reality, the trustee administering the trust you are party to in Newport Beach indirectly works for you and your fellow beneficiaries. 

It is a trustee's fiduciary duty to comply to the terms of the trust instrument. Insomuch as those terms benefit you and the trust's other beneficiaries, the trustee has a duty to you all to see them through. A failure in that regard is among the many situations that could give you grounds to seek their removal. 

Per Section 15642 of California's Probate Code, you and/or your fellow beneficiaries can seek to have a trustee removed if any of the following has occurred: 

  • A breach of the trust
  • The trustee becomes insolvent (or otherwise incapable of administering the trust)
  • The trustee failing or declining to act on trust-related matters
  • The trustee's compensation becoming excessive under the current circumstances

If the trust you are party to is managed by co-trustees, a failure amongst that group to cooperate in the administration of the trust could serve reason for removing some or all of them from their roles. The same is true if it is discovered that the trustee is subject to (or directly related by blood, marriage or other type of cohabitating relationship to one who is) receive a donative transfer per the trust instrument, yet they either created the instrument itself, had an ownership interest in the firm that did, or transcribed the trust instrument. 

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