When you set up a trust as part of your estate plan, you face the very important task of appointing a trustee to oversee the trust and the assets within. However, in some cases, your relationship with a trustee may sour, or you may realize that he or she is not behaving in your best interests, or the best interests of your beneficiaries.
You should take time each year to consider if any trustee should remain in the position. You may wish to remove a trustee for a variety of reasons, including
- Poor execution of trustee responsibilities.
- Violations of the terms of the trust, or failure to act within the terms
- Misuse of assets or privileges for personal gain
- Legitimate disagreements over procedural issues
While these are not the only reasons you may consider replacing a trustee, they are several of the most common issues that arise among trustees.
If you experience any of these issues as you work with your trustee, be sure that you're putting the care of your estate in wise hands. An unscrupulous trustee may misuse your assets without your knowledge, leaving your trust with significantly less than you funded. Even if you only experience a few things that raise concern, it is always wise to take the time to protect your estate and wishes.
Should you believe that you may need to remove a trustee, be sure to seek out professional legal counsel to better understand your goals and options. Protecting your estate and your beneficiaries is an important responsibility, so be sure that you carefully choose who guides you through these issues.
Source: Findlaw, "5 Reasons to Remove a Trustee From Your Trust," accessed Dec. 07, 2017