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By: Scott Grossman on June 18th, 2018

Modification of a Trust: Beneficiaries Not Agreeing

Modifying an irrevocable trust is not a simple procedure. 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 of a trust, the process is easier. Unfortunately, this is often not the case.

If you find yourself in a situation where all the beneficiaries are not agreeing to a Modification of a Trust, take the following steps:

  1. First of all, consult with an experienced San Diego probate attorney immediately. Probate laws can be confusing, and you need the guidance of a knowledgeable professional. This will give you the best chance of succeeding in your pursuit of a modification.
  2. Also, gather copies of trust instruments and amendments.
  3. Additionally, determine whether your reason for modifying the trust is a valid purpose under the probate laws in California.
  4. Furthermore, file a petition with the probate court for an order compelling modification or partial termination.
  5. Lastly, gather evidence that will demonstrate that the interests of the non-consenting beneficiaries will not be substantially impaired by the modification.

Key Terms:

  • Petition (noun): A formal written request made to a Court to ask for some type of relief. It can be made for many things, anything that someone is asking the Court to do can have some type of Petition filed. An example is a Petition to Probate a Will, this is usually submitted with the will to the Court to request the Executor be given the formal power to carry out the Will.
  • Irrevocable Trust (noun): A trust that can’t be changed or terminated without the permission of the Beneficiary. The Grantor no longer has all of his or her rights of ownership to the Assets and the Trust.

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.