Can I have my family trust audited?

Good Afternoon,

I’m the beneficiary of a living trust in Illinois. It’s being poorly managed and I’m being shorted on benefits etc. Is this something you guys can help me investigate further? Please contact me to let me know if you can help with this or not. Thanks

Best Regards,

Andrew Currie

Asked on September 5, 2017 under Estate Planning, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, as a beneficiary who evidentally has concerns about what is being done with trust assets or the payment of benefits, you may seek what is known as an "accounting": this is a legal action (i.e. lawsuit) filed in chancery court (a part or division of county court) which asks the judge to make the trustee(s) "account" for their actions. If a judge finds that they have been acting disloyalty or incomptenently (not just not making perfect or ideal decisions; being actively disloyal or unreasonably careless), the judge can order them to do (or not do) certain things, to undo certain actions (if possible), to repay amounts they diverted improperly (e.g. took for themselves)--or can remove them as trustees and replace them.
This kind of action can be procedurally complex--much more so than, say, bringing an action in small claims court. You are strongly encouraged to retain a trusts and estates attorney to help you. If you do not and insist on doing it yourself, download or buy a copy of the rules of court and contact the chancery  court's clerk's office for procedural instructions (where to file, filing fee, etc.). Note that court employees can only give you procedural information or clarifications; they can't give you legal advice as to what you should do.

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