How to remove a fiduciary?
UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022
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How to remove a fiduciary?
I am a disabled woman from California who inherited 60,000 given to me by my
grandma. My grandma died in New Zealand where my mom also currently resides.
My mom established a trust fund and appointed a random fiduciary in California
whom I don’t trust. How to remove a fiduciary of the trust that my mom hired? I
want to appoint someone else whom I actually trust. I don’t talk to my mom since
she is manipulative and she abandoned me when I was a teenager.
Asked on May 18, 2018 under Estate Planning, California
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 4 years ago | Contributor
You cannot remove a fiduciary simply because you do not know, trust, and/or like that person, or want someone you know and like in charge of the trust. A fiduciary can only be removed if it can be shown that he or she is violating his or her fiduciary duty--the obligation to follow the instructions of the trust, to not put his/her interests ahead of the beneficiaries', and to use reasonable care in managing the trust. If the fiduciary is discharging his/her duty, he/she cannot be removed or replaced. If the fiduciary is not following trust instructions, is diverting in one way or another trust assets to his/her own benefit, or is being careless in managing the trust, then a court could remove him/her. If you think this is happeneing, you would bring the matter to the court by filing what is traditionally known as an action for an "accounting"--that is, to make the trustee account for what he/she is doing. If you can show a breach of his/her duty, the court can replace him/her.
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