There are many different types of trusts. The person who sets up the trust typically selects a trustee to manage it according to their specifications. That individual is a fiduciary, which means that they must administer the trust in the beneficiaries’ best interests instead of their own.
The need may arise for a beneficiary to remove a trustee if they deviate from their responsibilities. Learning about the different scenarios that may warrant petitioning a judge for a trustee’s removal may help you in determining if you should pursue the same course of action in your case.
Waste or mismanagement of funds
Trustees have a fiduciary duty to manage a trust responsibly. You may have a valid reason to seek their dismissal from their role if they cause the trust to lose value due to their mismanagement. Any such actions may constitute negligence or incompetence, which are indicators of a breach of duty.
Prioritizing their own self-interests
Trustees shouldn’t make decisions that are in their self-interest. A trustee breaks their fiduciary duty to the trustor and their beneficiaries when they do so. The probate court can remove them from their role for such a breach.
Conflicts arise between beneficiaries and the trustee
Sometimes beneficiaries and trustees cannot see eye-to-eye on the distribution of the trust’s assets. This may also warrant their removal from their role, but only if they have good cause to do so.
Do you have a valid reason for requesting the removal of a trustee?
Various situations may warrant a trustee’s removal from their role. Your reasoning for doing so can’t be a matter of preference, though. You must provide the judge with valid reasons that you believe they’ve breached their fiduciary duty and evidence to back up your position. An attorney will want to know more about your situation before advising you whether you have a valid claim for a trustee removal.