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Loren, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 34442
Experience:  30 years experience in the practice of estate law.
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I am a co-beneficiary to a trust. The other beneficiary (my

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I am a co-beneficiary to a trust. The other beneficiary (my friends step grandson) is also the trustee. He is claiming that because I cared for my friend I am excluded from the trust. Can he exclude me without taking the matter to court? Don't I have a right to contest his allegations? Does he have to prove undue influence? What should I do?
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am JudgeLaw and I will do whatever I can to answer your question and provide you excellent service.

You can not be randomly excluded from the trust in which you are named as a beneficiary by the co-trustee merely for having cared for the trustor. If such were the case, no surviving spouse would be able to benefit from their late spouse's trust.

The co-trustee would be in violation of their fiduciary duties if they excluded you without court order.

It is my privilege to assist you. Let me know if you need further information.  I hope I have helped you beyond your expectations in the service I have provided to you.  I am here for you.

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Thank you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

How long does the trustee have to file in court? It has been seven months and he has done nothing but make allegations. My friends possessions have been sold, his home has been sold, and all of his bills have been paid. The only thing holding up the disbursement of the funds is the trustee and the allegations he is making.

There is a statutory limitation to bringing this claim. The statute defining the limitation is located within California Civil Code § 337 and places the limitation at 4 years, and the code that governs what "undue influence" is located in §1575 which I have provided to you below:

California Civil Code § 1575.
Undue influence consists:
1. In the use, by one in whom a confidence is reposed by another, or who holds a real or apparent authority over him, of such confidence or authority for the purpose of obtaining an unfair advantage over him;
2. In taking an unfair advantage of another's weakness of mind; or,
3. In taking a grossly oppressive and unfair advantage of another' s necessities or distress.

I hope this is helpful.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So I may have to wait 4 years for this to settle? In the mean time the trustee can do what he pleases with the money and rack up attorney fees? He, the trustee, is the only person who will gain from any action and he is a "step" grandson. My friend had no other living relatives and his mother, my friends "step" daughter, was excluded in the trust by my friend when he had it drawn up. My friend had amended his trust twice, naming his "paid" caretakers as beneficiaries before he named me. Does that mean that his caretakers and I all had undue influence? And couldn't I accuse the trustee of the same because of the portion that was left to him and not his mother?

You can file suit against the trustee. You do not have to wait 4 years for the trustee to do something. You can demand an accounting, which the trustee has a duty to provide, at least, annually.

You can petition the probate court to remove the trustee if they are not abiding by the trust.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Thank you for all of the information you have provided. I am at my wits end with all of this, and you have given me a bit of hope in what has seemed to be , at times, a hopeless situation. He was the best friend I have ever had and I miss him dearly. The insinuation that I took advantage of him hurts, and haunts me daily. I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate his kindness, and in all truth, I did not expect what he wanted me to have. I promised him, six years ago, that I would do everything I possibly could to keep him out of a "rest" home, and when he needed me I was there and I was able to fulfill that promise.

At the memorial service I gave for my friend I spoke of how much I missed him, and his step daughter commented that "You are the only person who misses him". I don't know why people say such hurtful things.

And now I am accused of wrong doing, of taking advantage of someone dear to me in his time of need. A swift blow to my head would be less painful.

Thank you for "listening". I know I have rambled on. I live alone and I suppose I needed someone to hear my woes and for some reason this has made me feel better about myself. I have been down lately.

With sincere gratitude,


I'm glad I could be of assistance. I hope everything works out ok.
Good luck and best wishes,
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