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California Wills & Trusts
Copyright 2017, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

2-96 California Wills & Trusts 96.syn


Powers and Duties of Trustee


Editorial Consultants--John A. Hartog;Albert G. Handelman;and James B. Ellis

Chapter Summary


This chapter from California Wills and Trusts discusses the authority of the trustee to act on behalf of a trust.

The chapter first covers the trustee's basic functions and duties, explains the trustee's powers as contained in the California Trust Law, and discusses the relationship between the trustee's powers and the trustee's fiduciary duties. It also examines the types of authority that a trustee may need to act on behalf of the trust. The discussion then turns to the powers automatically granted to trustees by statute unless limited in the trust instrument. It also considers areas in which it may be appropriate to vary or supplement the statutory powers.

The chapter goes on to explain some of the income, transfer and excise tax issues that may arise through the existence and exercise of certain powers of the trustee and discusses disclaimers of the trustee's powers. Finally, the chapter explores the trustee's potential liability to beneficiaries and third parties for exceeding the scope of the trustee's powers and covers exculpatory provisions that may limit a trustee's liability for certain breaches of trust.

California Wills and Trusts (Matthew Bender) provides a practical guide to planning, drafting, interpreting, and executing wills and trusts in California, explaining both the law and underlying estate and tax planning concepts. It contains extensive coverage of wills, testamentary and inter vivos trusts (both revocable and irrevocable), and durable powers of attorney, along with complete and individual provisions of wills, trusts, and codicils. It also incorporates recent legislative enactments and revisions of the Probate Code, as well as up-to-date citations and references to California statutes and cases.


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For a discussion of the appointment of trustees, see Ch. 93.

For a general introduction to trusts, see Ch. 80, Introduction to Trusts.

For a discussion of trust planning, see Ch. 81, Planning the Trust.


See California Trust Practice (Matthew Bender) for guidance on advising the non-professional trustee, allocating and distributing assets to bypass and marital deduction trusts, implementing and using administrative trusts, handling claims by and against post-mortem trusts, and evaluating the need for court supervision.

See Trust Administration and Taxation (Matthew Bender) for a well-documented, practical text on the establishment, administration, and taxation of trusts.

See Living Trusts: Forms and Practice (Matthew Bender) for practice-oriented guidance and legal forms used to establish and fund living trusts.

See Modern Estate Planning (Matthew Bender) for coverage of all key estate planning topics, including gift taxation, transfers and interests subject to estate and gift taxation, estate and gift tax deductions, exclusions and credits, and generation-skipping transfers.

See Estate Planning Forms and Clauses (Matthew Bender) for an expanded selection of essential will and trust forms and clauses, including detailed clauses specifying investment, business management, and other administrative powers of the executor or trustee.
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