2009 California Probate Code - Section 15200-15212 :: Chapter 1. Creation And Validity Of Trusts

SECTION 15200-15212

15200.  Subject to other provisions of this chapter, a trust may be
created by any of the following methods:
   (a) A declaration by the owner of property that the owner holds
the property as trustee.
   (b) A transfer of property by the owner during the owner's
lifetime to another person as trustee.
   (c) A transfer of property by the owner, by will or by other
instrument taking effect upon the death of the owner, to another
person as trustee.
   (d) An exercise of a power of appointment to another person as
   (e) An enforceable promise to create a trust.

15201.  A trust is created only if the settlor properly manifests an
intention to create a trust.

15202.  A trust is created only if there is trust property.

15203.  A trust may be created for any purpose that is not illegal
or against public policy.

15204.  A trust created for an indefinite or general purpose is not
invalid for that reason if it can be determined with reasonable
certainty that a particular use of the trust property comes within
that purpose.

15205.  (a) A trust, other than a charitable trust, is created only
if there is a beneficiary.
   (b) The requirement of subdivision (a) is satisfied if the trust
instrument provides for either of the following:
   (1) A beneficiary or class of beneficiaries that is ascertainable
with reasonable certainty or that is sufficiently described so it can
be determined that some person meets the description or is within
the class.
   (2) A grant of a power to the trustee or some other person to
select the beneficiaries based on a standard or in the discretion of
the trustee or other person.

15206.  A trust in relation to real property is not valid unless
evidenced by one of the following methods:
   (a) By a written instrument signed by the trustee, or by the
trustee's agent if authorized in writing to do so.
   (b) By a written instrument conveying the trust property signed by
the settlor, or by the settlor's agent if authorized in writing to
do so.
   (c) By operation of law.

15207.  (a) The existence and terms of an oral trust of personal
property may be established only by clear and convincing evidence.
   (b) The oral declaration of the settlor, standing alone, is not
sufficient evidence of the creation of a trust of personal property.
   (c) In the case of an oral trust, a reference in this division or
elsewhere to a trust instrument or declaration means the terms of the
trust as established pursuant to subdivision (a).

15208.  Consideration is not required to create a trust, but a
promise to create a trust in the future is enforceable only if the
requirements for an enforceable contract are satisfied.

15209.  If a trust provides for one or more successor beneficiaries
after the death of the settlor, the trust is not invalid, merged, or
terminated in either of the following circumstances:
   (a) Where there is one settlor who is the sole trustee and the
sole beneficiary during the settlor's lifetime.
   (b) Where there are two or more settlors, one or more of whom are
trustees, and the beneficial interest in the trust is in one or more
of the settlors during the lifetime of the settlors.

15210.  A trust created pursuant to this chapter which relates to
real property may be recorded in the office of the county recorder in
the county where all or a portion of the real property is located.

15211.  A trust for a noncharitable corporation or unincorporated
society or for a lawful noncharitable purpose may be performed by the
trustee for only 21 years, whether or not there is a beneficiary who
can seek enforcement or termination of the trust and whether or not
the terms of the trust contemplate a longer duration.

15212.  (a)  Subject to the requirements of this section, a trust
for the care of an animal is a trust for a lawful noncharitable
purpose. Unless expressly provided in the trust, the trust terminates
when no animal living on the date of the settlor's death remains
alive. The governing instrument of the animal trust shall be
liberally construed to bring the trust within this section, to
presume against the merely precatory or honorary nature of the
disposition, and to carry out the general intent of the settlor.
Extrinsic evidence is admissible in determining the settlor's intent.
   (b) A trust for the care of an animal is subject to the following
   (1) Except as expressly provided otherwise in the trust
instrument, the principal or income shall not be converted to the use
of the trustee or to any use other than for the benefit of the
   (2) Upon termination of the trust, the trustee shall distribute
the unexpended trust property in the following order:
   (A) As directed in the trust instrument.
   (B) If the trust was created in a nonresiduary clause in the
settlor's will or in a codicil to the settlor's will, under the
residuary clause in the settlor's will.
   (C) If the application of subparagraph (A) or (B) does not result
in distribution of unexpended trust property, to the settlor's heirs
under Section 21114.
   (3) For the purposes of Section 21110, the residuary clause
described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) shall be treated as
creating a future interest under the terms of a trust.
   (c) The intended use of the principal or income may be enforced by
a person designated for that purpose in the trust instrument or, if
none is designated, by a person appointed by a court. In addition to
a person identified in subdivision (a) of Section 17200, any person
interested in the welfare of the animal or any nonprofit charitable
organization that has as its principal activity the care of animals
may petition the court regarding the trust as provided in Chapter 3
(commencing with Section 17200) of Part 5.
   (d) If a trustee is not designated or no designated or successor
trustee is willing or able to serve, a court shall name a trustee. A
court may order the transfer of the trust property to a
court-appointed trustee, if it is required to ensure that the
intended use is carried out and if a successor trustee is not
designated in the trust instrument or if no designated successor
trustee agrees to serve or is able to serve. A court may also make
all other orders and determinations as it shall deem advisable to
carry out the intent of the settlor and the purpose of this section.
   (e) The accountings required by Section 16062 shall be provided to
the beneficiaries who would be entitled to distribution if the
animal were then deceased and to any nonprofit charitable corporation
that has as its principal activity the care of animals and that has
requested these accountings in writing. However, if the value of the
assets in the trust does not exceed forty thousand dollars ($40,000),
no filing, report, registration, periodic accounting, separate
maintenance of funds, appointment, or fee is required by reason of
the existence of the fiduciary relationship of the trustee, unless
ordered by the court or required by the trust instrument.
   (f) Any beneficiary, any person designated by the trust instrument
or the court to enforce the trust, or any nonprofit charitable
corporation that has as its principal activity the care of animals
may, upon reasonable request, inspect the animal, the premises where
the animal is maintained, or the books and records of the trust.
   (g) A trust governed by this section is not subject to termination
pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 15408.
   (h) Section 15211 does not apply to a trust governed by this
   (i) For purposes of this section, "animal" means a domestic or pet
animal for the benefit of which a trust has been established.

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