A provision of the trust instrument, in this case, purported to allow the former trustee to withhold from a successor trustee all of his or her communications with legal counsel. Held, the provision is unenforceable as it would permit the former trustee to conceal possible evidence of intentional or grossly negligent or recklessly indifferent breach of the trustee’s duties. A trust may not allow a former trustee to withhold from a successor trustee all communications between that former trustee and the trust’s legal counsel. The attorney-client privilege vests in the office of the trustee, not in any particular person. A provision permitting a trustee to withhold documents from a successor trustee violates public policy and is unenforceable.
California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 3 (Fybel, J.); May 29, 2018; 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 496