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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
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A trustee has filed a motion in court related to a proposed

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A trustee has filed a motion in court related to a proposed action. A beneficiary filed a response. All the beneficiaries agree to the proposed action on disagree as to the methods. The court ordered the parties to see if they could work it out and return to court. Now the trustee has taken the position that he does not want to proceed with the proposed action. All this relates to California Probate code section 16503.
It is our position that since the trustee has already submitted the matter for determination by the court he is unable to withdraw the proposed action.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

If the trustee has filed the action in court and the beneficiaries responded, then the trustee cannot withdraw his action without agreement of the beneficiaries or approval of the court. If the trustee goes to court and states he wants to withdraw his action, the beneficiaries would file a petition asking the court to order the action and if the beneficiaries are in consent on how to carry out the action, then they can join together and present that to the court.

Section D of 16503 states: "If the trustee decides not to implement the proposed action, the trustee shall notify the beneficiaries of the decision not to take the action and the reasons for the decision, and the trustee's decision not to implement the proposed action does not itself give rise to liability to any current or future beneficiary. A beneficiary may petition the court to have the action taken, and has the burden of proving that it should be taken."

Thus, you now have to petition the court (objecting to the trustee changing their mind) and ask the court to order the initially proposed action.




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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Not absolutely certain what you are saying.


The trustee issued a proposed action. One beneficiary objected not to the action but the methods within the action. Trustee petitioned the court to have the proposed action adopted by the court. One beneficiary filed a reply again agreeing to the action but objecting to the method. At the first hearing the court indicated this is a issue as to the methodology go see if you can resolve it. We attempted but failed to agree.


Now the trustee is taking the position I will not implement the proposed action, (in essence all the beney's agreed but one object to the method) and I am going to do the following.


The court still has jurisdiction on the proposed action and that is before the court.


I believe 16503(d) would apply and the trustee could do what he wanted before he submitted the issue before the court. I would think he would have to tell the court he is withdrawing the proposed action. Since all the beney's agree I would think this would be used against him.


So you are aware-I am an attorney-I represent one of the beney's (that objected to the method). I did family law for 35 yrs and some probate. The trustee is the brother-in-law of this beney.


The issue relates to the disposal of the personal property. The trustee removed the jewelry from the residence, precluded this beney the right to inspect the jewelry. We believe the personal property should be disposed of via a round robin process-which is what he proposed and we agree upon-we only think that the jewelry should be omitted from the round-robin until it has been appraised, (which it has not been). All the other items are in the decedent's residence and the jewelry is in a safety deposit box. All the other beney have inspected the jewelry and have access to it except my beney.

Thank you for your response.

Well, as you are aware the trustee can change his mind according to the statute, so now it is on the other beneficiaries to petition the court to take the action so it is almost like a reversal of positions so to speak.

Actually, I cannot see how they could disburse any jewelry without an appraisal, since if it was not specifically designated to any one beneficiary to insure equal distribution a value has to be put on it. This would be something reasonable the court would have to go with.

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