What can be done if a co-trustee is dragging out the distribution of an estate?

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What can be done if a co-trustee is dragging out the distribution of an estate?

My mother died 2 years ago. One of my brothers is a trustee for my side of the family and one of her husbands’ son’s is trustee for his side of the family. Both my mother and her husband had a simple Will and both lived together.The husband’s family has dragged things out to no end. Is it possible that one of my side of the family can file a breach of trust suit against them?

Asked on December 10, 2015 under Estate Planning, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a beneficiary of a trust, or a co-trustee (like yourself) can bring a legal action in chancery court to compel an "accounting" of the other trustee's stewardship of the trust. The court can look at how the other trustee has been managing the trust and at any expenses/payments/disbursements taken from the trust, and can do any/all of: removing the other trustee; ordering certain actions to be done (e.g. certain investments, or certain distributions, or divesting/selling certain investments, etc.--even ordering the dissolution of the trust); ordering the other trustee to repay or return any amounts improperly taken. A lawyer is necessary for such an action; you should speak with an attorney about your concerns.


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