Friday, December 21, 2007

5 Reasons to Remove a Trustee

People who create trusts usually appoint themselves as the trustees and someone else as the successor trustee. Problems usually arise when the original trustees are replaced by successor trustees. If for example your parents create a family trust and appoint themselves as trustees, they will need someone else to serve when they cannot do so themselves. When one spouse passes away or loses mental capacity, the other usually serves alone. When he or she passes away or loses mental capacity, the successor trustee, typically one of their children will take over. Unfortunately most trusts give their successor trustees too much power and discretion. They have complete and unfettered access to trust assets. Sometimes they take on a new personalities. Some of them have been known to ignore requests for copies of the trust and accountings. Soon all forms of communications break down and the waring begins.

Beneficiaries usually call and ask if there's anyway they can remove the successor trustee of their parents' trust. The short answer is yes. Below are 5 reasons to have a trustee removed:

1.) Refuses to deliver a copy of the trust as required;
2.) Fails to act pursuant to trust terms;
3.) Unable to act due to mental incapacity;
4.) Misappropriates trust assets; and
5.) Refuses to account for trust assets

This is not a complete list of causes for removal, but it does cover about 80 percent of the problems most beneficiaries experience when dealing with renegade trustees. The facts and circumstances of each case is unique, so please don't read too much into this list. If you are having difficulty with a trustee, consult with a competent probate litigator.


edwin said...


What a coincidense

10 years has not accouted

refuses to

never produced coppy of

refuses to ellow appraisals

is just being a bully

gettin all he can

Pat said...

Any trust convened to allow trustees the license to steal cannot be a trust formed in good faith; by operation of law, it would automatically convert to a constructive trust by definition.

Discretion presumes that a trustee acts for the benefit of beneficiaries, not of its own accord for its own benefit and profit.

No donor places assets in trust for the purpose of having them stolen.

Anonymous said...

My sister has used my mothers Trust to line her pockets. She has not provided a copy of the trust to anyone, she has misapproriated $100,000 worth of Mom's cash.

When I prove this in court, I believe she will destroy the I.R.L.T. and say "Mom did not leave a Will" Is it "conversion" or stealing when she writes checks for $15,000 out of Mom's checking account but has no documents to back her wreckless spending of this.

Can I sue her for giving cars, tractors and gold and silver Mom had listed in her Living Trust, but now might be gone?

Do you think it's possible to sue her in Civil Court and recoup stolen assets, she has the money in her accounts, and can I recoup my legal fees if I sue or is it rare to recoup these fees?

Fast Freddy