When you were a child, your parents told you that your grandmother had created a trust in your name. At the time, you did not know what that meant, other than that, grandma had left you some money, but you could not spend it yet.
With time, you took more interest and began to investigate how the trustee was handling the funds. Now you are starting to wonder whether they are trustworthy or whether they have been secretly serving their own interests.
Reasons for removing a trustee
If you wish to remove the trustee, you will need grounds to do so. Having a suspicion is not enough. These are some of the common reasons a court may allow you to remove one:
- Failing to do what is best for the beneficiaries: A trustee has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the named beneficiaries. Failing to do this, whether through mismanagement, neglect or intent, breaces that duty.
- Using the trust for their own interests: The trust is for your benefit, not that of the trustee.
- Failing to provide information to the beneficiaries: As a beneficiary, you have the right to certain information, which the trustee should give willingly.Inability to cooperate with fellow trustees: If your grandmother made more than one person trustee, they need to be able to work together. Otherwise, they may be unable to reach decisions in the best interest of the trust. As with any team of people, sometimes the only way to resolve a situation is to remove someone. There may be specific clauses in the trust to cover who can contest the actions of a trustee. A court will start from the basis that your grandmother chose someone they confided in to manage it. You will need legal help to prove that she misplaced her faith.