How Removal of Trustees from an Estate Works

An estate trustee has the huge responsibility of properly executing the last will and testament. He is legally appointed to carry out the wishes of the deceased. However, many times problems exists whenever the trustee does not act in the best interest of the estate, and it’s necessary to remove the trustee as soon as possible. This is when seeking the service of a Coachella Valley trust and estate law firm is extremely important.

According to, the removal of estate trustees is generally approved for the following reasons:


Per Probate Code Section 15640, an estate trustee is only allowed to resign under certain circumstances. First, the resignation has already been addressed by the trust. The second circumstance involves an revocable trust. The trustee can resign if the person responsible for revoking the trust agrees to the resignation. The third reason involves a non revocable trust. The trustee can only resign if all beneficiaries agree to the resignation. Finally, an estate trustee can resign if he gets a court order, and a successor is appointed.


Per Probate Code Section 15642, an estate trustee can be removed by the court or because removal has been petitioned by the beneficiaries, co-trustees or settler for the following reasons:

  • Duties weren’t performed due to trustee inefficiency
  • Duties weren’t performed due to co-trustee conflict
  • Trust was breached
  • Inability or refusal of trustee to carry out duties
  • Fraudulent behaviour of trustee
  • Removal based upon other lawful reasons

Estate trustees can be removed or they can resign. But sometimes those that are responsible for non revocable trusts refuse to allow successors to take over administration. According to Probate Code Section 15645, the court can make the removed trustee pay costs and attorney’s fees. This is a common scenario that our clients experience when dealing with the estates of loved ones. Learn how our Coachella Valley trust and estate lawyers can help settle this matter in your favor.

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