Redding, California, Law Blog

What are your rights as an heir in California?

On Behalf of | Sep 8, 2022 | estate planning

When someone dies, their estate is distributed among their heirs in accordance with the will or trust. If you are an heir, it is important to know your rights to ensure that you receive your fair share.

The right to information

You have the right to receive information about the estate and the trust administration. For instance, you should receive a notice of the trust administration after the trust gets funded. Additionally, the trustee is required to provide accountings to the trust beneficiaries upon request.

The right to object

You have the right to object to the trust administration if you believe that the trustee is not carrying out their duties properly. For instance, you may object if the trustee fails to provide accountings or information about the trust administration.

The right to withdraw

You have the right to withdraw from the trust at any time. However, if you do so, you may forfeit your share of the trust assets. You may do this especially if you do not agree with how the trust is being administered. Just remember that once you withdraw, you cannot come back.

The right to amend

You have the right to amend the trust at any time, as long as you have the consent of all the beneficiaries. For instance, you may want to change the trustee or alter the distribution of assets.

The right to receive distributions

You have the right to receive distributions from the trust according to the terms of the trust. For instance, if the trust provides for distributions to be made on a monthly basis, you should receive your distribution on time. However, the trustee has discretion over when and how much to distribute.

As a trust beneficiary, these are some of the key rights that you should be aware of. However, it is always important to keep the trustee’s duties in mind as well. The trustee has a fiduciary duty to all trust beneficiaries, which means that they must act in your best interests. If you have any concerns about the trust administration, be sure to raise them with the trustee.