Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

Can a trust be considered a decedent? or does decedent only refer to human beings?

Asked on 8/02/13, 12:20 pm

4 Answers from Attorneys

Neal Rimer Neal M. Rimer, Esquire
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A Trust does not die and cannot be a decedent. Yes, only human beings die and are then considered a decedent.

The Trust does not technically own its assets. It is the Trustee that takes title to assets in a Trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

Usually, the Trustee is a human being. When they die, if they are also the Trustor or Settlor (the person who transferred their assets to the Trustee during their lifetime) they might be considered the "decedent" under the terms and conditions of the Trust.

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8/02/13, 12:25 pm
William Christian Rodi Pollock
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A decedent refers to a deceased person. Since trusts are legal creations, they are not "alive" (despite sometimes being referred to as "living trusts". Thus the trust would not qualify as a decedent.

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8/02/13, 1:22 pm
Bruce Givner Givner & Kaye, A Professional Corporation
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A decedent only refers to human beings.

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8/02/13, 1:47 pm
Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach
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I agree, it only refers to human beings.

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8/03/13, 12:24 pm

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