How to file a trust accounting objection near me

How to File a Trust Accounting Objection

What is a trust accounting objection, when should you file a trust accounting objection, and how long do you have to file an objection? Here’s a helpful overview and guide.

What is trust accounting?

The Trustee of a trust is obliged to account, or provide information and records concerning the management of trust assets. The accounting must be provided to all trust beneficiaries. Typically, an accounting, whether formal or informal, is provided shortly after year-end, or when significant trust transactions occur. A trust beneficiary may also demand an accounting, and if the accounting is not made compel the Trustee account by filing a petition to compel accounting.

What if the trustee won’t account?

First, request a formal accounting of your trust. Complete the proper form, and submit it to your Trustee. The trustee has 60 days to provide the formal accounting. If the trustee fails to account, or fails to fully account, within those 60 days then you may and likely will need to file a Petition to Compel Accounting, which seeks an order from the County Probate Court requiring the trustee to account.

What is a trust accounting objection?

Every trust beneficiary has the right to object to a trustee’s accounting. The objection can be based on a number of claims, including:

  • Incomplete, inaccurate, false or fraudulent trust accounting information;
  • Mismanagement of trust assets;
  • Waste of trust assets;
  • Theft of trust assets;
  • Failure to fully account for trust assets; and/or
  • Failure to make trust assets productive.

Who can file a trust accounting objection?

Every trust beneficiary has the right to object to a trust accounting. Co-trustees may also object to a trust accounting prepared by a co-trustee. Special trustees, so-called super trustees might also be able to object. Essentially, anyone who has a role or interest in the trust may object.

How do I submit or file an objection?

To file an objection, we recommend that heirs contact an experienced trust litigation attorney to review the accounting and advise what objections should be made and when. The attorney will help an heir prepare an objection and either submit it to the trustee for resolution, in the case of an informal accounting, or file it in the County Probate Court where the trustee resides.

How is a trust accounting objection resolved?

In most cases, accounting discrepancies can be resolved informally with additional information and explanation. Many accounting discrepancies result from lack of good record keeping rather than nefarious intent. When that’s the case, the errors tend to be minor and resolvable, not requiring judicial intervention. When the discrepancies are more serious, beneficiaries, with the help of trust litigation counsel, will need to thoroughly examine the accounting irregularities to determine what fiduciary breaches may have occurred and how best to address them. While many of these issues too may be resolved with additional information and explanation, often the beneficiaries will need to file a petition for breach of fiduciary duty to initiate a formal process to have their concerns remedied. Filing a petition in the County Probate Court where the trustee resides will force the trustee to respond and give you a forum and process to have your concerns addressed, either informally through a mandatory settlement conference or mediation, or formally through a trial or evidentiary hearing in probate court.

How long do I have to make a trust accounting objection?

Beneficiaries have up to 3 years to object to a trustee accounting, although there are some limited circumstances where that timeframe can be extended. Those exceptions are beyond the scope of this discussion. As an ordinary example, if a beneficiary receives and accounting on January 2, 2010, the heir has until January 1, 2013 to formally raise concerns with the court. If the beneficiary fails to file with the court within that timeframe, their ability to object likely will be lost due to the passage of time. Importantly, submitting objections to the trustee within the three years but not filing anything will not extend this three year deadline. The courts want you to be on top of things, and if you aren’t you will lose your right to object. It is important that when yo get an accounting, if you have questions, you take those questions to a trust litigation attorney who can analyze the accounting and address your questions.

What is probate code section 16062?

The California Probate Code governs the administration of trust and probate estates. Probate Code section 16062 requires an annual accounting by the trustee to the trust beneficiaries. It also requires an accounting at trust termination, or when a trust changes trustees.

When should I contact a trust litigation attorney?

Contact a trust attorney the moment you suspect a Trustee is mismanaging or stealing from a trust, or providing incomplete information or misinformation. Most experienced trust attorneys will provide a free consultation to answer your questions. Contact us for a free consultation at RMO Lawyers anytime.

Do I need a trust litigation attorney near me?

We recommend that heirs and beneficiaries find an experienced trust attorney familiar with the county probate court in the county where the Trustor lives or lived. For example, if an heir lives in San Diego, yet the trustor lived in Los Angeles, we recommend working with a trust attorney in Los Angeles. A Los Angeles probate lawyer will generally be more familiar with the Los Angeles Superior Court Probate Division, versus an out of state attorney.


What does a probate litigation attorney do?
The Guide to Family Trust Embezzlement and Stealing
6 reasons I’d choose a probate attorney near me
The Power of Attorney California Guide
The Guide to Los Angeles Superior Court Probate Notes

About RMO Lawyers, LLP

RMO LLP provides personal and efficient inheritance dispute services to individual and institutional clients. The firm’s attorneys focus on probate litigation involving contested trust, estate, probate, and conservatorship matters. Serving California and Texas, with offices in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Orange County, San Diego, Fresno, the Bay Area, Dallas, and Houston. For more information, please visit

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About the Author

Scott Rahn, Founding Partner

Scott Rahn resolves contests, disputes and litigation related to trusts, estates and conservatorships, creating a welcome peace of mind for clients. He represents heirs, beneficiaries, trustees and executors. He utilizes his experience to develop and implement strategies that swiftly and efficiently address the financial issues, fiduciary duties and emotional complexities underlying trust contests, estates conflicts and probate litigation.

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