Can a trustee be removed and/or sued to remedy poor decisions/actions?

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Can a trustee be removed and/or sued to remedy poor decisions/actions?

They absolutely refuse to give an accounting of the trust (and never has). They mortgaged my parents home, which I had no knowledge of at the time, and income that used to be paid to me is now paying for the mortgage. Not a prudent decision considering they could have sold for $269.000 cash in hand and chose to take a loan for $300,000 that is to be paid back with interest.

Asked on July 5, 2013 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes a trustee/executor may be removed pursuant to a court oreder. This can, and does, happen in cases of "malfeasance" (i.e. misconduct or fraud). The fact is that a trustee/executor owes a fiduciary duty over that which they are to administer, so they must act with due diligence in handling estate/trust matters. 

That having been said, the party seeking removal must demonstrate to the court's satisfaction that the trustee/executor has breached their duty. There is a standard of proof that must be met. At this point, you should consider a consultation with a probate attorney who practices in the area of where all this is occuring.

Tricia Dwyer / Tricia Dwyer Esq & Associates PLLC

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You certainly may make such requests of the court. Do contact an attorney in the involved state right away. Some attorneys are available seven days for emergency legal needs. Many attorneys will confer initially at no charge. Then, if legal work is performed, some attorneys will provide a reduced fee for financial hardship. Some attorneys may also assist you in limited scope manner to conserve legal costs. All the best.


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