What should I do if some of the beneficiaries will not agree to a California trust modification?

Modifying an irrevocable trust is not a simple procedure. If changing trust terms were easy, it would increase the potential for the intent of the creator of a trust to be overlooked. California probate laws, however, do outline limited circumstances under which a trust can be changed or terminated. When all of the beneficiaries consent to the proposed modification, the process is easier. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. If you find yourself in this situation, take the following steps:

  1. Consult with an experienced San Diego probate attorney immediately. Probate laws can be confusing, and you need the guidance of a knowledgeable professional to have the best chance of succeeding in your pursuit of a modification.
  2. Gather copies of trust instruments and amendments.
  3. Determine whether your reason for modifying the trust is a valid purpose under the probate laws in California.
  4. File a petition with the probate court for an order compelling modification or partial termination.
  5. Gather evidence that will demonstrate that the interests of the non-consenting beneficiaries will not be substantially impaired by the modification.

While obtaining a trust modification without the consent of all beneficiaries may require additional showings, it is not impossible. An experienced San Diego probate lawyer can assist you in presenting a compelling argument for the change to the probate court judge.

For more information about trust modifications or disagreements among beneficiaries, view our free guide, The Ultimate Guide to California Trust and Probate Litigation. To learn more and obtain guidance in bringing your own action, contact an experienced San Diego probate litigation attorney today. Call our toll-free number at (888) 443-6590.

Scott Grossman

Scott Grossman


The Grossman Law Firm, APC · 525 B Street, Suite 1500, San Diego, CA 92101 · (951) 523-8307