How does a co-trustee of a family trust resign their position?

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How does a co-trustee of a family trust resign their position?

I am a trustee in a family trust and my brother wants to resign from his duties. There are only 2 of us trustees. What is the process for him to resign? How much does that cost? Can we do it ourselves? and can there be only one trustee?

Asked on August 17, 2011 California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Resignation of a trustee (co-trustee in this case) can be accomplished in various ways and only one of the following procedures needs to be selected.

1) Resignation according to the applicable provision in the trust.

2) In the case of a revocable trust, with the consent of the person holding the power to revoke the trust. (Since this is a family trust, the trust provisions may authorize the creator of the trust also called the settlor to have the power to revoke the trust).

3) If the trust is not revocable, with the consent of all adult beneficiaries  who are receiving or are entitled to receive income under the trust or to receive a distribution of principal if the trust were terminated at the time consent is sought.  If a beneficiary has a conservator or attorney-in-fact, consent to the trustee's resignation should be obtained from them instead of the beneficiary.

4) Pursuant to a court order.

If you select 1 or 2 or 3 above, there should not be any cost.  If you select 4, there will be court filing fees and other court costs.  

It would be advisable to select 1 or 2 or 3.  You can do this yourselves.  Have the resignation and acceptance of the resignation in writing.  A trust only needs one trustee. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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