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What reasons can lead to the removal of a trustee?

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2024 | Estate Planning |

When creating a trust, there are multiple roles with various functions, all essential to solidify the legal arrangement. Specifically, the trustee has many obligations involving management of the trust and prioritizing the interests of its beneficiaries. If they commit mistakes or fail to fulfill their responsibilities, trustees can face removal from their positions.

Massachusetts law has provisions allowing the removal of trustees under specific circumstances. These scenarios include the following:

  • Any incident that can pass as a breach of trust
  • Issues arising from disputes, conflict or friction with other co-trustees, impacting the trust administration process
  • Repetitive failure of the trustee to accomplish their duties, possibly related to unwillingness and other factors considered relevant by law
  • Significant life events or changes that may call for the removal of the trustee, which may be in the best interests of all beneficiaries as decided by the court

Any situation that meets these scenarios can provide valid reasons to remove a trustee. The decision can hinge on whether the beneficiaries raise valid issues, usually followed by validation in court. Even if the removal of the trustee is still pending, the court can order reasonable measures as precautions to secure the trust.

Knowing what to do about trust issues

As a beneficiary, you have the right to bring up issues that may affect the trust. In these instances, it can help to seek legal counsel immediately. Proper guidance can also help you determine the most appropriate ways to address trust problems, especially if they involve the trustee. The solution might not be their immediate removal, but taking the correct course of action can help find resolutions that can help preserve and protect the trust.