Can a trustee be removed?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a trustee be removed?

My grandparents passed and left my aunt as the trustee, along with my uncle’s half. She is

supposed to give him money to live, pay for expenses, etc. However, he hasn’t received anything. How can I find out what he should receive and that his money is put away for him? What can I do?

Asked on October 4, 2016 under Estate Planning, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can't do anything, unless you have power of attorney for your uncle or unless he has been determined to be mentally incompetent and you have been appointed his legal guardian; otherwise, you have no authority to act on his behalf. Your uncle, or someone with the authority to act for him can, if it's believed that the aunt is not honoring or competently following the terms of the trust, may bring a lawsuit in surrogates or chancery court for an "accounting"--that is, to require her to account for what she has done as trustee. If she is found to have acted improperly, she can removed as trustee and/or required to pay compensation to your uncle. This type of action is procedurally complex; if you want to explore it, you are advised to retain an attorney to help.

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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