Can you fire a lawyer who is administering a Trust?

My parents set up a Trust before they died. My sister is the executor and chose the lawyer (a personal friend) to administer the due Trust. My sister was very bitter when my mother died, as she felt that she was treated unfairly. My mother has been dead for almost 4 years, have not seen any income from the rental property and the family house once appraised at 750K has been empty. The lawyer does not respond to emails

Asked on October 14, 2014 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the issues that have arisen since your Mother's death.  So the Will did not name a Trustee or is your sister the Trustee but the lawyer is just who she hired to help her Probate the Estate and administer the Trust?  I think it is the latter.  So no, you as a beneficiary can not fire the lawyer and he does not have to respond to your emails. But I think the avenue you should take is to hire one yourself to help you find out what is going on.  First, the Probate file is an open book meaning you can go down to the courthouse and take a look. And you should as a start. It  will give you an idea about the assets and the status of probate. Now, if there is a trust an accounting has to be filed every year under the law by the trustee. That will also give you some clues.  Then you need to petition the Probate court for a formal accounting and for a hearing and consider that you may wish to remove your sister as executor and trustee.  Good luck.


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