In California, removing a trustee from a trust is a serious step if a trustee is behaving in an inappropriate way. There are a few different aspects of trustee behavior that can qualify them for removal, and it’s the step to take if they do not change the behavior that is having a negative impact on the beneficiaries of the trust.
Reasons to remove a trustee
A trustee is in charge of managing and distributing the assets in a trust to beneficiaries, but they might fail to uphold their end of the deal. The most obvious is if they divert some of the assets of the trust to themselves, which is called self-dealing.
Other reasons include incompetence or mismanagement of the assets, a failure to adhere to the terms and contract of the trust in some way, or a breakdown in the relationship between the trustee and the beneficiary. The trustee holds an important position with a fiduciary duty to put the needs of their beneficiary first, so anything that violates that can be grounds for removal. Filing claims against trustees is the process by which the beneficiary can start the removal process.
Trustee selection process
Selecting a trustee carefully is crucial for ensuring that the trust will go smoothly and that the assets will be managed correctly. If the trustee turns out to be the wrong fit, then it is necessary to go through the court system to have them removed from the trust and replace them with a more appropriate choice that will follow the trust’s terms.