I need to know what to do my uncle is trustee and is not following the trust.

My uncle became trustee last year when my grandmother passed away. My great grandfather left both my uncle and I 50/50 owners of a house. The house is a ‘ family’ house to be lived in by close family only rent free until 2025 at that time it can be sold. My uncle is letting his girlfriends family live there rent free and is refusing to have them move out and has avoided contact with me. I plan on moving into the home in January 2018 and need to have the tenants out.

Asked on November 3, 2017 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If a trustee is not following the instructions of the trust and/or is violating his "fiduciary duty" by putting his own needs ahead of those of a beneficiary (the fiduciary duty requires him to be loyal to the beneficiaries), a beneficiary can bring a lawsuit, typically in "chancery court" (a part or division of county count) for what is traditionally called an "accounting"--that is, to make the trustee account for his actions as trustee. If a court finds that he is violating the terms of the trust or his fiduciary duty, it can order him to do or not do certain thins (like removing the girlfriend's family); to pay compensation; and/or can remove him as trustee. This type of legal action is much more complex than the type of small claims action typically brought by non-lawyers; you are strongly advised to retain an attorney to help you.


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