Code Section Group

Probate Code - PROB


  ( Division 6 enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79. )

PART 1. WILLS [6100 - 6390]

  ( Part 1 enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79. )

CHAPTER 8. Nonprobate Transfer to Trustee Named in Decedent’s Will [6320 - 6330]
  ( Heading of Chapter 8 amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 178, Sec. 31.2. )


As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a)“Designation” means a designation made pursuant to Section 6321.

(b) “Instrument” includes all of the following:

(1)An insurance, annuity, or endowment contract (including any agreement issued or entered into by the insurer in connection therewith, supplemental thereto, or in settlement thereof).

(2)A pension, retirement benefit, death benefit, stock bonus, profit-sharing or employees’ saving plan, employee benefit plan, or contract created or entered into by an employer for the benefit of some or all of his or her employees.

(3)A self-employed retirement plan, or an individual retirement annuity or account, established or held pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code.

(4) A multiple-party account, as defined in Section 5132.

(5) Any other written instrument of a type described in Section 5000.

(Amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 178, Sec. 31.4. Effective January 1, 1993.)


An instrument may designate as a primary or contingent beneficiary, payee, or owner a trustee named or to be named in the will of the person entitled to designate the beneficiary, payee, or owner. The designation shall be made in accordance with the provisions of the contract or plan or, in the absence of such provisions, in a manner approved by the insurer if an insurance, annuity, or endowment contract is involved, and by the trustee, custodian, or person or entity administering the contract or plan, if any. The designation may be made before or after the execution of the designator’s will and is not required to comply with the formalities for execution of a will.

(Amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 178, Sec. 31.6. Effective January 1, 1993.)


The designation is ineffective unless the designator’s will contains provisions creating the trust or makes a disposition valid under Section 6300.

(Enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79.)


Subject to the provisions of Section 6325, the benefits or rights resulting from the designation are payable or transferable directly to the trustee, without becoming subject to administration, upon or at any time after admission of the designator’s will to probate. A designation pursuant to this chapter does not have the effect of naming a trustee of a separate inter vivos trust but the rights and benefits or the proceeds thereof when paid to the trustee are, or become a part of, the testamentary trust or trusts established pursuant to the designator’s will or shall be added to an inter vivos trust or trusts if the disposition is governed by Section 6300.

(Enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79.)


Except as otherwise provided in the designator’s will, the rights and benefits and their proceeds paid or transferred to the trustee are not subject to the debts of the designator to any greater extent than if they were paid or transferred to a named beneficiary, payee, or owner other than the estate of the designator.

(Enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79.)


(a) The court in which the proceedings are pending for administration of the estate of the decedent has jurisdiction, before or after payment or transfer of benefits and rights or their proceeds to the trustee, to:

(1) Determine the validity of the trust.

(2) Determine the terms of the trust.

(3) Fill vacancies in the office of trustee.

(4) Require a bond of a trustee in its discretion and in such amount as the court may determine for the faithful performance of duties as trustee, subject to the provisions of Article 3 (commencing with Section 1570) of Chapter 16 of Division 1.1 of the Financial Code and Section 15602 of this code.

(5) Grant additional powers to the trustee, as provided in Section 16201.

(6) Instruct the trustee.

(7) Fix or allow payment of compensation of a trustee as provided in Sections 15680 to 15683, inclusive.

(8) Hear and determine adverse claims to the trust property by the personal representative, surviving spouse, or other third person.

(9) Determine the identity of the trustee and the trustee’s acceptance or rejection of the office and, upon request, furnish evidence of trusteeship to a trustee.

(10) Order postponement of the payment or transfer of the benefits and rights or their proceeds.

(11) Authorize or direct removal of the trust or trust property to another jurisdiction pursuant to the procedure provided in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 17400) of Part 5 of Division 9.

(12) Make any order incident to the foregoing or to the accomplishment of the purposes of this chapter.

(b) The personal representative of the designator’s estate, any trustee named in the will or designation or successor to such trustee, or any person interested in the estate or trust may petition the court for an order under this section. Notice of hearing of the petition shall be given in the manner provided in Section 17203, except as the court may otherwise order.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 71, Sec. 138. (SB 1304) Effective January 1, 2015.)


As to matters not specifically provided in Section 6325, the provisions of Division 9 (commencing with Section 15000) apply to the trust.

(Enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79.)


An appeal may be taken from any of the following:

(a) Any order described in Part 3 (commencing with Section 1300) of Division 3 made pursuant to this chapter.

(b) An order making or refusing to make a determination specified in paragraph (1), (2), or (8) of subdivision (a) of Section 6325.

(c) As provided in Section 1304 for an order made pursuant to Section 6326.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 32, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2004.)


If no qualified trustee makes claim to the benefits or rights or proceeds within one year after the death of the designator, or if satisfactory evidence is furnished within such one-year period showing that no trustee can qualify to receive them, payment or transfer may be made, unless the designator has otherwise provided, by the obligor to the personal representative of the designator or to those thereafter entitled, and the obligor is discharged from liability.

(Enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79.)


Enactment of this chapter does not invalidate trusts, otherwise valid, not made pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

(Enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79.)


This chapter, insofar as it is substantially the same as former Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 175) of former Division 1, repealed by Section 18 of Chapter 842 of the Statutes of 1983, shall be construed as a restatement and continuation thereof and not as a new enactment. After December 31, 1984, a reference in a written instrument to the previously existing provisions relating to the subject matter of this chapter shall be deemed to be a reference to the corresponding provisions of this chapter.

(Enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79.)

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