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David Kennett
David Kennett, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years practicing attorney
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My uncle and aunt are both deceased and before my uncle passed

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My uncle and aunt are both deceased and before my uncle passed away he had a will drawn creating a 99 year trust fund of his assets that myself and two sisters share by percentages. We are not allowed to touch the principle we are just supposed to receive interest dividends made from this trust. Our children will continue to receive our percentages after we are deceased. Our problem is that our uncle had his friend, who is his attorney, draw this up and he made him a trustee to the fund who has to sign checks. His sons also are attorneys at this office. My uncle's attorney now has his son running the trust because he has retired and has the start of dementia. We would like to take our trust and go to another trust attorney with it. These attorneys in charge now specialize in real estate law. They don't answer our emails with questions regarding questions and we believe but can't prove that they may be taking funds from this trust. We are unaware of what their handling is and are always very vague with their responses. My uncle passed away over 3 years ago and we have only gotten one initial payment and one interest payment. We would like to fire them and break this up but the attorney in charge says it is iron clad and can't be broken. Is this possible or is it that they don't want to be fired? Can myself and my sisters take this trust away from them being that their father is a trustee or our we stuck with them since it will pass down from father to son and so on. Three brother are also attorneys in this practice. Can you advise me of our options with this. We would like to dissolve this trust and disperse the funds according to the percentages my uncle wished and invest our own money the way we want to. We don't want to continue with this 99 year trust but if we are stuck with it like that then we just want another attorney without a conflict of interest to be in charge of it.

Dear JACUSTOMER - I cannot analyze the validity of the trust document from here but if the trustee is not acting properly in carrying out the fiduciary duties to the trust then you can file an action in the local court to have the trustee removed and replaced by another trustee. While the trust may be valid and unable to be broken that doesn't mean the trustee can do whatever he pleases with the trust or not act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. You can also file an ethics complaint with the Bar Association for attorney misconduct if the attorney is not responding and neglecting the trust. Since the trust a separate entity and you all are beneficiaries then the trustee owes a fiduciary duty to all of you and not just the executor. Here is the website for the Bar Association.

http://www.njsba.com/

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