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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55134
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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A grandchildrens trust was set up for our two adult children

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A grandchildren's trust was set up for our two adult children by my husband's parents.
Grandfather is living. Grandmother deceased. Until four years ago we had no financial problems. That all changed as we had to sell our business of 30 years. The trust established for our children is irrevocable. However, due to our inability to financially assist our son the trust was modified. The funds from his portion were paid out to him. He is a recent college graduate. Forgive me for the limited information of trust content. My husband and his family have always lived under a veil of financial secrecy. My concern is for my daughter who is mentally ill and alcoholic. We can not afford rehab for her. Nor can we force her to go to a facility. Can the trustee intervene somehow on her behalf ? She will probably never be in a position to handle a large sum of cash. But she desperately needs help now.
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good afternoon. What does the trust agreement provide with regard to the trustee's right to make distributions and the trustee's obligation to make distributions with regard to your daughter?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It is for the care of the children as he sees fit. We have finally gotten him to pay for some of her hospitalizations. As well as reimbursement for clothing or necessary preparation for potential job interviews. But that won't happen as she is too sick. I'm reaching, but my daughter is going to die. Could he intervene in any other way to get her to seek help. Or direct us in a way that would help.

Thank you,
Thanks for following up. He does have a fiduciary duty to your daughter as trustee of the trust. His fiduciary duty is to provide for her care. Even though the trust sets a standard for this by letting him determine this "as he sees fit"...that does not give him unfettered right to withhold distributions needed for her care. If you consider that he is not making distributions necessary for her care, then you can file suit against him in family court to have him removed as trustee for breach of his fiduciary duty and to ask the court to appoint a successor trust. That would be either pursuant to the terms of the trust for appointing successor trustees or by the court if the trust agreement doesn't have such a mechanism. If the court determines that the trustee is breaching his fiduciary duty by not allowing distributions necessary for her care, the court will order the trustee removed.

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