When should you consider removing a trustee?

In past blog posts we have discussed how to choose the right person to be the trustee of your trust. A trustee is responsible for managing a trust according to its terms and in the best interests of its beneficiaries. While most appointed trustees are able to fulfill their duties, some are not. In these situations, it may be best to seek to remove him or her and find a replacement. So, what are some reasons to remove a trustee?

The most obvious reason to remove a trustee is if he or she is not upholding the terms of the trust. Because this is a core aspect of a trustee’s responsibilities, failing to do it is grounds for removal.

Another reason to remove a trustee is if he or she appears to be managing the trust in a way that benefits himself or herself — not the beneficiaries. Unfortunately, some trustees abuse their power for their own benefit. In these situations, seeking a quick may be a good idea.

A third reason to seek a trustee’s removal is if the trustee is mismanaging the trust’s assets. As part of the fiduciary duty that comes with managing a trust, the trustee is responsible for protecting — and not diminishing — the assets’ value. Mismanagement or neglect of a trust’s assets can be grounds for removal of a trustee.

While these are some of the most common reasons to remove a trustee from his or her duties, there are many others that may arise. If you are concerned about how a trustee is managing a trust, it may be wise to speak with an estate planning attorney. An attorney can help you better understand whether the trustee’s actions are grounds for removal.

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