What can I do if I have a corrupt trustee managing my late father’s estate and the distributions?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do if I have a corrupt trustee managing my late father’s estate and the distributions?

She is stealing all the money and making up false debts she is, with the actual help of a lawyer, charging us for. She needs to be made to follow the plan outlined in the Trust, and give us our fair share but she won’t do that, despite all attempts from courteous to desperate to demanding on my part.

Asked on January 3, 2016 under Estate Planning, Hawaii


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Find an attorney NOT connected to the trustee and bring a legal action (a lawsuit) in surrogates or chancery court requiring the trustee to "account" for her trusteeship: she can be made to document and support her actions and expenses. If she has violated her fiduciary duty, falsified records, engaged in self-dealing, and/or breached the instructions in/terms of the trust, she can be removed as trustee and possibly required to repay amounts she improperty took or diverted from the trust.

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