How to Dissolve Being a Trustee

By John Stevens J.D.

Absent a court order, a person cannot be compelled to act as a trustee. Even if a person accepts the position of trustee, unforeseen circumstances may prevent that person from carrying out the duties of trustee. Trust documents almost always address the issue of a trustee’s resignation. Absent an express resignation provision, consult with an attorney to determine your resignation rights under state law. In most cases, a written resignation letter delivered to the next trustee listed in the trust and to the person who created the trust is required.

Absent a court order, a person cannot be compelled to act as a trustee. Even if a person accepts the position of trustee, unforeseen circumstances may prevent that person from carrying out the duties of trustee. Trust documents almost always address the issue of a trustee’s resignation. Absent an express resignation provision, consult with an attorney to determine your resignation rights under state law. In most cases, a written resignation letter delivered to the next trustee listed in the trust and to the person who created the trust is required.

Step 1

Locate the language in the trust document that addresses the resignation of a trustee. Some trusts provide that the trustee must give notice of the resignation to the person who created the trust.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Step 2

Locate the language in the trust document that specifies who will serve as trustee if you are unwilling or unable to do so. This person is often referred to as a “successor trustee.”

Step 3

Prepare a resignation letter that identifies the trust, states that you are the currently acting trustee, and that you are resigning under the specific section of the trust that addresses the resignation of a trustee. For example, a resignation letter might read as follows: “I, John Smith, currently acting trustee of the Mary Jones Trust, hereby resign as trustee under paragraph VII(b) of the Mary Jones Trust.”

Step 4

Date and sign the resignation letter before a notary public.

Step 5

Deliver a copy of the resignation letter to the person who created the trust if that person is alive and if the trust document so requires.

Step 6

Deliver a copy of the resignation letter to the successor trustee.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to Prepare an Amendment to a Revocable Trust

References

Related articles

How to Delete a Trustee From a Trust in California

A trust is a legal device that allows someone to place assets under the control of a trustee for distribution to beneficiaries. It is often used to avoid probate upon the death of the person who funded the trust, known as the settlor. If the trust is revocable, the settlor may simply revoke or amend the trust to replace the trustee. Replacing the trustee becomes more difficult, however, if the trust is irrevocable. Under certain circumstances, however, California law allows the replacement of the trustee of an irrevocable trust.

How to Address a Beneficiary in a Letter

A trust is a legal document created for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. If you are the acting trustee of a trust, you have several duties to fulfill. For example, you must manage the trust as stipulated by the grantor, and you must ensure the trust fulfills its intended purpose. In the course of your role as trustee, several situations may arise in which it may be necessary for you to address a beneficiary in a letter.

How to Amend a Living Trust

A living trust is an agreement about your property that allows you to keep control of your assets while you're still alive and set out what happens when you die. At some point you might need to change the trust's terms. An amendment allows you to change sections of the original trust. You shouldn't alter the trust documents directly, as that might invite a legal challenge later on but you can prepare a separate amendment that details the changes.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to Terminate an Irrevocable Trust

With a trust, you transfer assets to a legal entity set up to shelter your estate from the probate process. A trust ...

Death of a Trustee & a Name Change on a Title

The death of a trustee under a living trust means the successor trustee, also named in the living trust, assumes the ...

How to Obtain a Copy of a Living Trust in California

A living trust is a means of transferring property to an individual or group of people. It is created by a person ...

How to Fire a Trustee

A trustee is powerful -- he must manage trust property and distribute trust assets to trust beneficiaries in accordance ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED