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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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