One of the things your family member would have been required to do while creating her or his trust was to appoint another person to be in charge of the administration of that trust after they have passed away. The person that your family member ultimately selected is presumably someone they thought they could rely on and trust, and who would carry out the terms of the trust in accordance with their wishes.
Sometimes, after the trustee has been chosen, it becomes obvious that your family member made a poor decision.
Now that someone who has proven themselves to be unreliable or perhaps even untrustworthy is presiding over a trust to which you and others are all beneficiaries, you might be curious as to whether or not the trustee can be replaced.
Can a Trustee be Replaced?
The simple answer to this question is yes, of course. However, you need to have a good reason to do so and will usually need to go to court in order to request that the court remove the current trustee and appoint a replacement.
Qualifying Reasons for the Replacement of a Trustee
The most frequently-occurring reasons that courts normally agree to a request of this nature include but are not limited to:
- The trustee is not managing the trust effectively and efficiently, the court might agree to replace them. It is not required that the trustee deliberately fails in their obligation. They might just lack the time, inclination, or skill to be a trustee.
- The trustee grievously violates the trust by mismanaging funds, utilizes the trust for personal gain, or simply will not answer your inquiries for information concerning the administration of the trust. Any of these could grant you a new trustee.
- You and all of the other beneficiaries of the trust join forces and petition the court to replace the current trustee. In this situation, it is possible that the court may agree provided that it does not go against your loved one’s wishes and seems to be in the group’s best interests. Your petition may be declined, however, if the deceased provided a distinct reason for choosing the current trustee.
The valid reasons for replacing an appointed trustee are quite restricted. Each situation has individual elements that make it unique, however, and a court will always take all external factors into consideration prior to making their ruling.
If you are unsure of whether or not your situation has the necessary elements for requesting the replacement of a trustee, we strongly urge you to make an appointment with an attorney from Leiva Law Firm who is well-versed in the laws surrounding California trust litigation.
Our reputable, licensed corporate attorneys have represented clients in federal court, civil court, and binding arbitrations and will know which steps to take to ensure that any pending litigation ends in the most favorable way possible.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today by contacting us at (818) 703-1777 as soon as possible. Our attorneys speak both English and Spanish.