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By: Scott Grossman on April 5th, 2018

If the attorney who drafted the will or trust named themselves as the executor or trustee, am I required to use that Attorneys Services?

You are not required to use the drafting attorneys services as executor or trustee, and you may not be required to use their services at all. In fact, under California probate law, if the drafting attorney is named in the documents as the executor or trustee for a will or trust, it is presumed that this was done for an improper reason. This will usually work in your favor if you need to have them removed.

Before taking any actions, you will want a second opinion by obtaining attorney services. It is possible, especially in the case of a trust, that the drafting attorney may be named to provide a different service related to the estate, such as nominating the California successor trustee after the original trustee has died.

This isn’t necessarily a questionable situation, though it is in your best interest to take your attorney’s interpretation of the trust’s terms under advisement in regards to those Attorneys Services.

If you want the drafting attorney removed from the position of executor or trustee of an estate:

  • Send a written request to them directly, asking them to decline the position. Oftentimes, this is sufficient.
  • If the drafting attorney refuses your request, petitioning probate court will usually get them removed.

If you are ready to start your case, then please give us a call or fill out our Get Help Now form. A comprehensive overview of California Probate is available here. Should you have additional questions about trust litigation, you will find plenty of useful information in our Learning Center.