The trustee overseeing a trust has a significant influence on the lives of others. They have to manage the assets in the trust. A trustee may need to physically secure and maintain assets like real estate, or they may need to make investment decisions about financial assets used to fund a trust.
The way that they handle and distribute trust assets may affect the financial stability and opportunities for all of the beneficiaries of the trust. Most trustees will take their responsibilities seriously and act in the best interest of the beneficiaries of the trust.
Unfortunately, trustees occasionally fail in their legal obligation to a trust and its beneficiaries. What should you do if a trustee has diminished trust resources through improper management or investment?
You may need to ask the probate court to intervene
A simple mistake or even a gross oversight by a trustee won’t automatically diminish their authority over the remaining assets in the trust. The beneficiaries of the trust will need to initiate a challenge against the trustee and the actions they have taken if they want to have someone else step into that role.
If you have evidence that a trustee made significant mistakes in their management of trust assets, the courts may agree with your assertion and remove them from their position. Having a new trustee take over won’t undo the damage the previous trustee caused, but it can protect the remaining assets in a trust.
Realizing that you may have to actively challenge a trustee not fulfilling their obligations properly can motivate you to involve the probate court in a trust administration issue.