Can a trustee refuse to pay beneficiary

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a trustee refuse to pay beneficiary

If a trust states that it is the grantors desire to have the beneficiary continue to live
in his accustomed standard , can the trustee change that to include at retirement
age ?

Asked on December 15, 2017 under Estate Planning, Washington


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The trustee cannot alter the provisions of the Trust.  The trustee must comply with the provisions of the Trust.
The Trustee altering the provisions of the Trust constitutes a breach of the trustee's fiduciary duty.  If the Trust includes procedures for removal of the trustee and designates a successor trustee, those provisions of the Trust should be followed.
If the Trust is silent as to removal of the trustee and appointment of a successor, then the beneficiary should sue the trustee for breach of fiduciary duty and petition the court for appointment of a successor trustee.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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