What to do if I have a hostile relationship with my trustee who is my brother?

He feels that he should be “preserving” my trust and I feel that my parents left the money for me to use. He is the beneficiary of the trust funds should I die. He refuses to give me any money for my family, since I got married after the trust started 9 years ago. What can I do? Do I have any rights to this money?

Asked on March 7, 2013 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You have rights to the money.  However, those rights are defined by the trust agreement itself and many trust agreements give the trustee absolute and uncontrolled discretion over the funds.

Having said that, your brother/the trustee owes a fiduciary duty to provide for your benefit.  If he does not do so, or if he has a conflict of interest, he can be removed by a court.  It sounds like he may have a conflict of interest if he receives funds that he "preserves" from your use.

I suggest you have a trust lawyer near you look at the trust agreement and advise what, if anything, can be done.


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