What to do regarding a bitter relationship with a Trustee?

My husband’s sister has stopped speaking to the family after her divorce. It has been over 3 years since we have heard from her. Mom-in-law set up a trust some time ago for my husband and his sister. My concern is that the sister is the executor of this trust now, and his mom said she can give my husband a hard time when my mom in law passes away. I thought having a trust would keep this from happening? Why would she keep a bitter sibling as executor on the trust knowing she will be able to give my husband a hard time? What can he do to protect himself?

Asked on May 19, 2012 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Is this a trust set up to go in to effect after your Mother in Law passes away?  Has your Mother in Law passed away as of yet?  If the answer is no to the last question but yes to the first, and your sister in law has yet to become the trustee,, then you can do nothing until she is appointed.  Once that happens she has a fiduciary duty to your husband that the law takes very seriously.  You are going to have to be diligent in keeping on top of things and making sure that she carries out her duties properly.  I would strongly suggest hiring an attorney to keep tabs.  It will be out of your own pocket.  Good luck.


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