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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 89622
Experience:  Experienced in Trust and Succession Law, including Louisiana Laws
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My brother is the trustee of my inheritance from my father.

Customer Question

My brother is the trustee of my inheritance from my father. My Dad didn't realize, nor did I, how abusive my brother would be. Brother has been a little nicer recently, but his screaming at me and abusiveness has started again. My sister-in-law tells me that my brother gets so stressed about how to keep the money well-invested that he takes out the stress on me. There is no excuse for abuse. But even if what my sister-in-law says is a reasonable explanation for the shit-storm of screaming and abuse I get from brother, then that in itself is not what my father wanted. And, if the trust causes brother so much stress then he should give it up--but he refuses to do so. I recently got out of the hospital where I had to have surgery; I had an intestinal obstruction and have been diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. Brother was nice when I was in the hospital. But is now back to screaming at me again, despite the fact that stress exacerbates my illness. I have described what my brother does and says, and a doctor has told me that brother probably has obsessive compulsive personality disorder. The will establishing the trust says that if I contest the *will*, I lose my inheritance. Without contesting the will, is there any way I can remove brother as trustee because of his abusiveness and possible personality disorder? Is there any way I can at least hold him accountable for his abusiveness? No one in the family will stand up to him. If I can't have him removed as trustee and/or dissolve the trust and and have the money in it be under my own control, do have a suggestion as to how to approach the Commissioner of Accounts directly? In the past, I have spoken to the Commissioner's clerk, who advised I should get an attorney, and also saiys I need to get an attorney to communicate with the Commissioner--but, I can't afford an attorney! The reason my father made brother the trustee was to protect my inheritance from my then-husband, who I since divorced, and also because my dad thought brother would manage it well ad make money. While brother is managing the money adequately, I do not call being consistently abusive to me, and possibly having a personality disorder that makes him unreasonable, being elements of competent management of the trust. Please let me know any suggestions you might have as to how to deal with this problem. Thank you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Unfortunately, there are limited grounds to remove a trustee and him being abusive would not be one as it is not considered to be a breach of fiduciary duty. A trustee may be removed only for breach of fiduciary duty to the beneficiary or the trust or for not being able or willing to manage the trust and perform duties of trustee. Him getting mad and yelling at you is neither a breach of duty or an inability to manage the trust and as such it would not be grounds to get him removed. The reasonableness is in management of the trust and following the directives in the trust, there is no law saying he has to be nice to you and as long as he can show he is following the terms of the trust and not mismanaging the trust, the court will not remove him.

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