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A corporate trustee is acting on my behalf as beneficiary

Los Angeles, CA |

There are attorneys at this trust company. Would there ever be a need for them to talk to the attorney who made up the trust? And, if so, wouldn't the trust itselfpay for that attorney's fees? Thank you.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. As in most things in the law the answer is: It depends.

    1) Would there ever be a need for them to talk to the attorney who made up the trust? Perhaps. In defending a contest, for example, I think the trustee’s attorney would communicate with the attorney who drafted the trust. There are many other circumstances where I can envision such a communication.

    2) If so, wouldn't the trust itself pay for that attorney's fees? The attorney's fees of the trustee, as well as the trustee fees themselves, are paid from the trust. Still, there may be provisions in the declaration of trust that alter this result in any particular circumstance. And, the probate court has jurisdiction in all matters concerning the affairs of the trust -- so there are circumstances where any particular beneficiary may have his share of the trust reduced because of attorney’s fees the trustee's have necessarily incurred on behalf of the trust – such as where a beneficiary files an unsuccessful petition to remove the trustee.

    I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference


  2. Agreed.

    Thomas A. Schaeffer, Esq. Law Office of Juarez and Schaeffer PO Box 16216, San Diego, CA 92105 (619) 804-4327 www.jslaw.org This posting is provided for "informational purposes" only and should not be relied upon as "legal advice." Nothing transmitted from this posting constitutes the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. Applicability of the legal principals discussed here may differ substantially in individual situations or in different States.


  3. The lawyer for the trust company is the trustee's lawyer - not your lawyer. In issues involving trust administration the trust company's lawyer would be in a conflict of interest if he/she also advised you. On matters not involving the trust administration (e.g. taxes, etc.) generally the trust company lawyers are not available (they are not in private practice). If you have a good opinion about the lawyer who drafted the trust I would recommend you consult with that lawyer on all trust involved matters.

    DISCLAIMER: The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship or any right of confidentiality between you and the responding attorney. These responses are intended only to provide general information about perceived legal issues within the question. Each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer is not a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction and who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances.

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