If I am 1 of 2 trustees on my aunt’s Trust, can the other trustee act on their own without my permission, especially if a conflict of interest is involved?

We both have full power of attorney. She is in an assisted living facility, and suffers from dementia. The other trustee wants to sell her property to his daughter, 10 year payment plan, no interest. Can he do this without my permission? I fear he already has, even though I objected.

Asked on August 3, 2014 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I hate to throw this back in your court but you need to read the trust document.  It will state if you each have the power to act independently or that you must act jointly.  I have to tell you that generally speaking, co-trustees can act independently and some states require that the language of the trust be specific in requiring them to act jointly.  But if you think that he has acted not in the best interests of the trust or for some pecuniary gain to himself or others close to him then you could allege a breach of his fiduciary duties and speak with an attorney about having him removed and having the deal set aside.  Good luck.


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