Sometimes, real estate is held in a trust. What happens when there is a legal action by or against a trust? A trust itself cannot sue or be sued. (Presta (2009) 179 CA4 909, 914). “As a general rule, the trustee is the real party in interest with standing to sue and defend on the trust’s behalf.” (Estate of Bowles (2008) 169 CA4 684, 691) “A claim based on a contract entered into by a trustee in the trustee’s representative capacity . . . may be asserted against the trust by proceeding against the trustee in the trustee’s representative capacity . . .” (Calif. Prob. C. § 18004).
Both the trustee and anyone who thinks to sue the trust must keep these matters in mind, among other things.