What to do about if an executor changed the terms of atrust to benefit themself?

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What to do about if an executor changed the terms of atrust to benefit themself?

My father passed away and left a trust fund for his 4 children. The oldest child is an attorney and the executor. During my father’s final days, there were some loose ends and the executor took care of them before my father passed. During this time, the executor changed the trust, it seems, to favor himself. My father had set up the trust , giving the other 3 children the ability to come together and replace the executor, should they see fit. The executor did away with this and made himself the sole decision maker. This can’t be proper, can it? What problems does this cause and how can it be reversed? Very upset and scared.

Asked on January 17, 2012 under Estate Planning, Illinois


Sanford M. Martin / SANFORD M. MARTIN, P.A.

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

     As a beneficiary and interested person, you have

a right to object to and contest the changes made to

your father's estate in his final days.  Many such

changes made to wills and trusts are contested on

the basis of "undue influence" and taking advantage of the deceased's confusion and

lack of mental clarity.  Although these matters

pose difficult legal issues for families, you and

your siblings may benefit from discussing these

issues with an attorney experienced in estate

planning and probate law.  Especially if your

father experienced dementia or mental issues

during this period which resulted in estate changes primarily benefitting one child which appears inconsistent with his previously expressed intentions in the trust, you may have a basis for contesting the changes or persuading the executor to consider the family and ethical

issues involved in distribution of the estate.

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