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Standard of care requirements for trustees

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2022 | Estate Planning |

A person who creates a trust has to transfer his or her responsibilities to a person known as a trustee. The trustor has to choose the ideal person for the job. First, it’s important to know about the certain duties that a trustee in California must fulfill.

The standard of care

Under California’s trust law, the trustee is required to follow a standard of care. This means that he or she must perform trustee duties with an appropriate amount of care, caution, and attention. The trustee is expected to care for and maintain another person’s property in the same way that the trustor would have cared for his or her own property. It’s important to review the trust documents carefully and follow the best interests of the individual who created the trust.

Fiduciary duties in estate planning

The trustor transfers fiduciary duties to the trustee or a person who assumes new legal and ethical responsibilities. A breach of fiduciary duty occurs due to a violation of trust and may result in loss of property, money or reputation. A plaintiff can file a lawsuit for breach of fiduciary duty, and if he or she wins, the defendant may be ordered to repay any lost money or resign from the trustee’s role.

Abiding by the trustor’s wishes

The required standard of care for trustees is fairly straightforward in the California Probate Code. The trustee has to care genuinely for the trustor’s assets and property according to the terms outlined in the trust agreement. If you are named a trustee, you’re required to use your best judgment, skills, and resources to administer the trust in the most effective way.

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