Can a trustee take a beneficiary off the Trust after the trustor died?

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Can a trustee take a beneficiary off the Trust after the trustor died?

My mom received a huge inheritance from her uncle. She passed away and my dad and brother took me off the living Trust to where I get nothing. My dad never let me see the original living family Trust after my mom died. Also, my brother and dad are spending money on cars, trucks and diamond rings for their girlfriends and themselves.

Asked on September 30, 2018 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, they cannot do this unless the terms of the trust specifically give the trustee this power: the trustee is obligated to follow the terms of the trust and cannot remove someone from it unless specifically authorized to do so; the trustee administers the trust, but does not control it. The trustee may not also take money or property, etc. from the trust other than as the trust specifically gives them these things by its terms, or authorizes them to pay themselves certain amounts. If a trustee violates the terms of his trust and/or his "fiduciary duty" (duty of loyalty) to the beneficiaries, he can be be forced to repay what he took and also removed as trustee; a court can also order that money or payments be made to those whom the trust directed they should be made. Speak with a trusts and estates attorney: you may have a legal claim against your father and brother as trustee(s).


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