Trustees are not created equal. The good ones administer trusts seamlessly, transparently and quickly. They embrace their fiduciary duties and obligations, putting beneficiary interests above their own—even if they are one of the beneficiaries. They bring peace to the entire trust administration process. Many of them retain a trustee attorney to help make sure they are following trust administration rules.
What Makes a Bad Trustee?
On the other hand, bad trustees withhold copies of the trust, play hide the ball with asset information, cut off communication, and bully beneficiaries into submitting to their will.
They act like they own trust assets, treating beneficiaries poorly for wanting information and their full share of the proceeds. They also act like they are doing everyone a favor by administering the trust. We refer to them as renegade trustees. They are easy to spot, just look for the big shiny badges. They don’t really have badges, but if you run into a renegade trustee you will understand that comment.
Renegade trustees burn through trust assets, and threaten to spend more money on expensive trust attorneys if anyone questions their behavior. They typically ignore their duties and responsibilities under the probate code and operate by their own rules.
You Have Rights
If you are the beneficiary of a trust that a renegade trustee is administering, there is some good news. You have rights. If they violate those rights, renegade trustees can be removed. Even if there’s a no-contest clause, a trust attorney will seek the removal of renegade trustees because under California law those requests are not considered trust contests. Our trustee attorneys have removed several renegade trustees, most commonly for breaching their fiduciary duties, but they can also be remove for any just and reasonable cause.
To Speak With a Trustee Attorney, Call Us Today
Our attorneys have been removing renegade trustees, getting trust accountings and recovering lost assets for California trust beneficiaries since 1998. If you are having problems with a trustee, promptly seek the advice of a trustee attorney. 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.