The answer is not as easy as yes or no (of course, it involves attorneys right!). As you may know, the trustee of a trust serves in a fiduciary position in which they manage the trust. The role is different than a beneficiary who receives the benefit of the assets held in the trust.
You will often hear of talk about why you should take steps to avoid having your estate end up in probate court being divided and distributed by the approval of a judge. Those with the knowledge of how this process works will be the ones leading the charge when it comes to avoiding probate.
We have spoken extensively in this blog about the importance of establishing a trust to ensure the disposition of your estate is done in accordance to your wishes. Employing a trust as your tool for distributing your estate is by far the easiest method of managing your affairs. But what does that all look like? And is it so easy you can do it yourself? The answer to these questions is exactly what I plan to provide in this article.
The short answer to the topic question is yes, in California, a trustee can also be a beneficiary, but there are several serious concerns you need to be aware of to ensure your trust doesn’t become legally invalid. To truly understand how this can go wrong, we have to dive into a little property law.
Parents typically chose a child to serve in this trustee capacity because it seems easy and believe it will cause the least amount of fighting possible. However, sometimes this plan doesn’t quite work they way it was intended, and in-fighting amongst the sibling beneficiaries ensues. So what happens when a bad trustee strikes?