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Phone: (714) 963-7543
Phillip C. Lemmons APC

Are You Having Trustee Problems?

Trustees are not created equal. Good ones administer trusts seamlessly, transparently and quickly. They embrace thier fiduciary duties and obligations, and put beneficiariy interests above their own--even if they are one of the beneficiaries. They bring peace to the entire trust administration process. 

On the other hand, bad trustees refuse to provide copies of the trust, play hide the ball with asset information, cut off communication, and bully beneficiaries into submission. They act like they own trust assets, and treat beneficiaries poorly for wanting their full share of the trust proceeds. They also act like they are doing everyone a favor by administering the trust. We call bad trustees, renegade trustees. They are easy to spot, just look for their large shiney badges. They don't really have badges, but if you run into a renegade, you'll understand the comment.       

Renegade trustees burn through trust assets, and threaten to spend more of it on expensive attorneys if anyone questions their behavior. Renegade trustees typically operate by their own rules.

If you are the beneficiary of a trust being administered by a renegade trustee, don't dispare. You have rights. Renegade trustees can be removed. Even if there's a no-contest clause, you can ask a court to remove a trustee because under California law a trustee removal petitions are not a contest. Trustees are most commonly removed for breaching their fiduciary duties, but they can be remove for any just and reasonable cause.

We have been removing renegade trustees, getting trust accountings and recovering lost assets for California trust beneficiaries since 1998. Anyone dealing with a renegade trustee must seek legal help, and fast. Do not wait. In my experience, renegades deplete trust assets quickly, and are judgment proof. It's usually best to suspend their powers and freeze trust assets as soon as possible.