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By: Scott Grossman on August 27th, 2016

An Overview Of A Trustees Accounting And Litigation That May Follow


During the administration of a trust, one of the primary responsibilities of the trustee is to prepare annual accountings for the beneficiaries. An accounting sets forth the income and expenses of the trust over the course of the year. Unfortunately, issues can sometimes arise with regard to this important trust document. In the worst cases, when a beneficiary does not agree with the information contained in the accounting, litigation may result.

Seven Facts About Trustees and Accountings

If you are involved in the challenge of a trustee accounting, either as a beneficiary or the trustee, it is important to act carefully in order to protect your legal rights. Understanding the obligations and procedures surrounding trustee accountings is an important first. The following is an overview of seven helpful facts about trustee accountings:

  1. Trustees are generally not required to submit their annual accounting to the court, unless there is already court action involving the trust.
  2. Unless the trust requires a more frequent accounting, trustees are required to render accountings on an annual basis.
  3. Trustees are also required to file accountings when there is a change in the trustees, or if the trust terminates.
  4. The trustee must prepare the accounting in accordance with the requirements of the probate code.
  5. The trustee must report the information on the accounting accurately.
  6. In cases where there is litigation or the probate court is otherwise involved in the trust administration, the trustee must file the accounting and will have to provide additional information or explanations if requested by the court.
  7. Beneficiaries can file objections to the accounting.

When a beneficiary files a legal objection to an accounting, the court may intervene. What comes next will depend on the legitimacy of the claims that are made. We encourage you to view our free guide, Winning the Inheritance Battle: The Ultimate Guide to California Trust and Probate Litigation, to get started understanding the trust litigation path that may lay ahead.

Related Links:

What to Do When a Probate Accounting Looks Off

Common Trust Accounting Mistakes

The Grossman Law Firm, APC · · (951) 523-8307