It really depends on what the trusts says. Generally, if a trustee chooses not to act, the next successor trustee is called upon to serve. However, in your case, it is unclear whether the successor would replace the trustee who has decided not to act or if the trustee, who has decided to carry out his responsibilities, would carry on as the sole trustee. I take it from your remarks the latter is unlikely. In any case, you should consult with a qualified attorney at your earliest possibility.
That is shocking. You can file a lawsuit for malpractice and/or file a bar complaint with the California State Bar, either one of these will be sure to get a response from your noncommunicative lawyer.
Adding your children onto your deed is a bad idea.
Read my article on why: http://www.foresightlegal.com/pdf/Gift%20Horse.pdf.
My office is also located in Long Beach. My contact information is here: http://www.foresightlegal.com/contact.rev.html.
Certainly, if the client is mentally incompetent at the time of signing, the documents should be ineffective. Of course, this is a matter of proof, and whether a person is incompetent is determined by a qualified physician.
I am a California lawyer so I can't speak to New York law. However, in California, you would sue the trustee of the living trust, rather than the living trust itself. I can't imagine how, under any law, the seller is relieved from its disclosure obligations because it is a living trust. In California, the trustee is obligated to disclose what s/he knows to the buyer.
I concur that you need an attorney to craft an living trust to suit your specific circumstances, but it need not cost you thousands of dollars either. My firm provides cost effective estate planning geared to middle income families who need help that won't break the bank. Check out our link below.
Please note I said you should "also" consider a cohabitation agreement. I meant "also" in the sense of in addition to. I did not suggest it as an alternative to an estate plan. A cohabitation agreement would address the present characterization of property each of you own, income and debt as well as provide clarity for who would get what if your relationship were to end.
Although I agree that an estate plan is in order; it would not deal with who gets what if your relationship were to end...