Unfortunately, the death of a loved one is often followed by family turmoil and debate over his or her estate. In attempts to avoid family debates, many individuals will appoint a trustee for their trust. The trustee has a variety of responsibilities when acting as the legal fiduciary for the beneficiaries. But in some cases, a trustee may refuse to act. If you are left wondering what a beneficiary can do if the trustee refuses to act, there are a variety of measures you can take to ensure fair distribution. Here are some helpful points of guidance to assist you in this unpleasant and complex matter:

  • By law, trustees cannot be removed from their duties unless they have violated terms of the trust. The creator of the trust (the “Settlor”) has tried to choose a trustee who will best distribute the estate; however, the death of a loved one often creates complications among involved parties.
  • As a beneficiary, you do not have to “just deal” with an unlawful trustee. The first option you have is to file a petition with the probate court to force the trustee to act fairly based on agreed terms of the trust. If the trustee fails to listen to court rulings, they can be expelled from their duties.
  • You also have the ability to file a petition for an accounting in the probate court. If the court agrees with your suspicions, it will ask the trustee to provide detailed reports regarding the financial breakdown of the trust.
  • Finally, you have the option to seek removal of the trustee immediately. If you are a beneficiary looking to remove the trustee of a trust, call us and allow us to guide you through the process.

When it comes to choosing a beneficiary or trustee of a trust, you need the right legal advice and assistance. Contact Gaudy Law in Upland for all of your California legal needs. Whether you are in need of assistance through the probate process, creating a will or trust, or going over estate planning, we will provide you with the representation you deserve.

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