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When should you challenge the trustee on your trust?

Trusts are a major source of security for both the people who create them and the beneficiaries who rely on them later.

Unfortunately, not every trustee ends up being reliable. At some point, you may have to ask the court to remove a trustee that isn't doing his or her job correctly.

When is it appropriate to ask for a trustee change?

The trustee isn't obeying the terms of the trust

Trusts have rules for a reason. Even though the trustee is technically endowed with full management rights over the trust, the trustee has a moral, ethical and legal obligation to hold true to the spirit of the trust and its terms.

You've developed a hostile relationship with the trustee

Personality conflicts do happen between beneficiaries and trustees. Sometimes, those personality conflicts cause the communication between trustees and beneficiaries to devolve. Without communication, there can be no trust -- and that's never a good situation.

The trustee is mismanaging or neglecting the assets in the trust

Are you able to reach your trustee as needed? Is he or she responsive to your requests for information? Are funds from the trust being released to you in a timely manner? Do you suspect that the trustee is generally mismanaging the trust, maybe making risky investments or other dealings? If so, then it's probably time to seek a new trustee.

Your trustee is dipping into the trust (or you suspect so)

A trustee should have no problem showing you where the money from the trust has gone. If you think that the funds are being depleted for his or her individual use, it's time to take action.

If you're uncertain about your options over a difficult situation with your trustee, find out more about how you can legally challenge his or her position.

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