Home Money Your Essential Guide To Revoking A Trust in California

Your Essential Guide To Revoking A Trust in California

by Louise W. Rice

Are you thinking of revoking a trust in California? If so, it is essential to understand how to do it and the implications of the process. Revoking a trust means that the trustor (the person who created it) terminates its effects and removes the trustee’s authority (the party responsible for administering it). The revocation of a trust must be done in writing and signed by the trustor.

It is important to note that while revoking a trust can terminate all fiduciary duties previously held by the trustee, it does not necessarily release them from any obligations related to assets or property transferred prior to termination. Revoking a trust may also have tax implications depending on the type of assets involved. This blog will dive into some of the basics of the process.

What is a Trust?

Trusts are legal entities that give rights to an individual to manage the property on behalf of another person for their benefit. In such a scenario, the trustee holds legal title to the property and has complete freedom to act in the beneficiary’s best interests, who, in turn, have a right to use it. Trusts can be utilized for any asset, including cash, real estate, and equity in a firm.

How to Revoke a Trust in California?

California law allows the revocation of a trust, which is a straightforward process. The grantor must file a court petition listing the reasons for revoking the trust. The reason can range from anything, such as a trust facing an economic crisis or some new tax policy affecting the assets, to a divorce.

This petition should be served to the trustee and all beneficiaries. The court may revoke an irrevocable trust for asset protection if it does not match the convener’s original intent. However, revocable trusts are usually approved by default.

Consequences of Revoking a Trust in California

In California, when a trust is revoked, beneficiaries may become eligible for distributions of the trust’s property. The trust can be withdrawn when a new will is developed that dictates the nullification of the old one.

When a trust is revoked, and the court approves the case, the trust is terminated upon revocation, and property is distributed to the beneficiaries named in the will. Meanwhile, when an intervivos trust is revoked, it delivers the property to identify beneficiaries based on the distribution in the will.

Reasons Why Someone Might Revoke a Trust in California

A trust may be revoked if the stated purpose for establishing it has changed or become outdated, a different trustee is needed, the beneficiary has changed, or the trustor has passed away. Furthermore, a trust may be revoked if it’s ultimately causing more harm than good. Individuals must review their trusts each year to ensure they continue serving the purposes listed in the will.

Steps to Revoke a Trust in California

If you want to revoke a trust in California, there are a few steps you need to take:

  • First, you’ll need to identify the trust beneficiaries and notify them of your intent to revoke the trust. This begins with filing a formal revocation document. This document should list all previously listed assets in the trust and explain your reasons for revoking the trust. It is formally known as a trust revocation declaration, and it serves as a written statement of your desire to dissolve the trust irrevocably.
  • Next, you need to remove all the assets associated with the trust.
  • Finally, you must file a revocation of trust with the Californian courts.


Revocation of a trust in California is a delicate process that must follow proper documentation procedures. While this article presented a broad overview of the steps you need to take, it is highly recommended to consult an attorney who can guide you on every step is highly recommended. Moreover, having legal aid also helps avoid any documentation lapses. Remember that mistakes during the process will require you to restart the paperwork.

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