What Happens if I Need to Resign as Trustee?

Trustee document waiting for a notary public sign on desk.Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, so your circumstances may look completely different today than they did when you originally agreed to serve as a trustee. And perhaps your life has changed so much that you think the time has come for you to resign as trustee.

But how do you resign?

As trustee, you cannot simply walk away from the trust. There are certain steps you will need to take because you have a duty to fulfill your responsibilities to the trust and the beneficiaries before you resign. Plus, you must resign properly to ensure you are not held responsible for any adverse consequences in the future. 

A great first step is to check the original trust document for a named successor trustee and any terms or guidance on resignation. You also need to provide written notice to the beneficiaries and successor trustee. 

A successor trustee is often named in order to provide the grantor with an added level of protection over their assets, in the event of resignation or death of the first chosen trustee. If a successor trustee is not named, then you will need to ask the court to appoint a successor trustee for you. You will be required to manage the trust while a successor trustee is selected.

Once a successor trustee is chosen, you’ll need to prepare a full financial accounting and turn over all related trust documents. Sometimes this can also include a Trustee Resignation Form that you can get from your attorney or the Court. You will then need to complete and sign the form in the presence of a notary public. You’ll also want to make copies of your resignation documents for the trust, the court, and your own records.

Finally, it’s likely you will be required to assist with the transition of the trust to the new trustee. While the documents you compiled will make the transition easier, being available to the new trustee during the transition process will guarantee a smooth process. Again, your duty is to make sure you have left the trust in good hands.

Still have questions?

Contact an Experienced Los Angeles Estate Planning Attorney

Remember, even if the terms of the trust appear easy and clear, consulting with an experienced attorney from LA Elder Law will ensure you are in compliance with the law as you resign. You can contact us directly by calling 310-823-3943 to schedule a free consultation about your unique needs. We look forward to working with you.