Instances in which you might be able to remove a trustee
Many individuals who fund trusts have significant wealth to be distributed to specific loved ones at different intervals in their lives. It’s not necessary to have significant wealth to warrant the funding of a trust, though. Individuals of more modest means may also fund a trust to shield their assets from creditors or remain eligible for government benefits.
Most trustors take time to select someone they believe will adequately uphold their fiduciary duties when appointing a trustee to their role. Their primary responsibility is responsibly administering the trust. There are some instances in which they might fail to perform their responsibilities. When that happens, you may need to try to remove them from their position as trustee.
What does California law say about the removal of trustees?
You may need to remove a trustee when they:
- Carry out self-serving behaviors, such as making decisions that benefit them more than they do your trust beneficiaries or imposing high costs for their services
- Become uncooperative or hostile with or begin showing favoritism toward trust beneficiaries or the co-trustee
- Cease to remain financially solvent (which makes you question the safety of the trust funds)
It is also possible to remove a trustee because they show an inaptitude to perform their role and fail to bring anyone in to aid them in making sense of it all.
Does your situation warrant the removal of a trustee?
Just because a situation doesn’t play out as you’d anticipate doesn’t mean that the trustee’s removal is warranted. You’ll want to comb through California law to ensure that your reasoning for the removal of the trustee is authorized. These statutes can also shed light on who can take such legal action and when they might be able to do so.