Trustees who forgo their fiduciary duties or mishandle a Trust face the risk of being removed from their position. In the event that this happens, many wonder what the next steps are and what options remain.
Trustee selection relies predominantly in the court’s hands. When a Trustee is deemed unfit, the court has complete discretion to elect who they want to oversee the estate. Ultimately this decision comes down to who will execute the Trust the most smoothly. This means that the court does not have to elect the successor Trustee named within the document or even a relative of the deceased. More often than not, the court opts to appoint a Professional Trustee. This is because dispute resolution and due process are paramount to the court. The court will take whatever measures to ensure that a dispute does not return to the courtroom for the sake of efficiency. Typically Settlors name their children or family as Trustees, successor Trustees, and beneficiaries. If a dispute and familial strife are already severe enough to warrant a lawsuit, the court is not inclined to risk appointing another family member. Professional Trustees ensure impartiality; they are an outside, objective party with no motive to deceive or cheat the beneficiaries. This does not mean that all professional Trustees are great. Like in any profession, there are highly qualified and mediocre professionals, it just takes vetting and research to ensure a good professional Trustee is hired.
Professional Trustees are categorized into two distinct types: corporate and private. Private Trustees are classified as individuals who are licensed to act as a Trustee, while contrarily, Corporate Trustees are businesses, typically banks or other investment firms. Both are reliable options but offer varying levels of service and assistance. The complexity or simplicity of the estate will help determine which option is the best fit.
If you are in a similar circumstance and are undergoing an inheritance dispute, please contact The Inheritance Recovery Attorneys. Our firm offers free consultations and specializes in trust and will litigation. We are here to help you protect your inheritance and ensure your loved one’s wishes are fulfilled honestly.