Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

Is it illegal for the trustee of a living will trust to spend trust funds not on the trust beneficiary, but instead on his own personal ventures (eg. real estate investments not deeded to the trust beneficiary or her estate, college tuition for his children, personal bills, etc.) I thought the trustee was obligated to apply any funds to needs and care of the trust beneficiary while they are alive, and upon the death of the trust beneficiary any proceeds are divided among the beneficiaries listed in the trust.

Asked on 6/28/10, 8:11 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services

It depends on the terms of the trust, but this certainly does not sound proper or legal. Sometimes, however, the trustee is also a beneficiary. Also, trustees usually collect a fee. Without more detail that is really all that can be said.

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Answered on 6/28/10, 11:17 am

Aaron Feldman Feldman Law Group

An attorney would need much more information to give a full and complete answer. Is this trust irrevocable? Did the person(s) who set up the trust die? Are you a beneficiary and if so have you received or requested an accounting? If you received an accounting, have you ever formally objected to the accounting? You really need to consult with an attorney to give you specific answers to your questions.

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Answered on 6/28/10, 11:21 am
Jonathan Reich De Castro, West, Chodorow, Glickfeld & Nass, Inc.

Sit down with an attorney ASAP. Your question can only be answered with a lot more facts and after a review of the terms of the Trust.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The above response is not intended to, and does not, create an attorney-client, fiduciary or other confidential relationship with the responder. Neither does it constitute the providing of legal advice or services or the giving of a legal opinion by the responder. Such a relationship can only be created, and legal advice and/or legal services provided, pursuant to a written agreement with the responder. Accordingly, no obligations of any kind are assumed with respect to any matter or question presented. It should also be noted that legal issues are often time sensitive and legal rights may be lost or compromised if you do not act in a timely fashion.

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Answered on 6/30/10, 9:06 am

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