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Richard
Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 54523
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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Hi, My mother passed away recently, and she made me the trustee

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Hi, My mother passed away recently, and she made me the trustee of an irrevocable trust for my daughter (her grand daughter). I would like to remove two successor trustees who would only serve as trustee upon my death or incapacitation. Is this possible? Thanks
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. Unfortunately, you would have to get court approval from that. As trustee, your responsibilities are to administer the trust strictly in accordance with the trust agreement established by your mother. Because this trust is irrevocable, it also cannot be changed unless the court agrees. Thus, you would need court approval to change the trust agreement to remove the successor trustees and in order to do so, you would need to show there was a legitimate reason that they should not be allowed to serve as trustees and/or that they are unwilling or unable to serve in the event of your death or incapacity.



This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could tell you that as trustee you had the authority to make this change unilaterally, but, I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you. ………..I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!



Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!


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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have a follow up. In the Irrevocable trust, it lists a point that states specifically: "The power to remove and replace and to appoint Trustees as expressed above may be performed without court approval." Does this empower me as the trustee to remove any successor trustees. Also, I have complete power over the irrevocable trust. Is it possible for me to legally transfer all the irrevocable trusts assets to a revocable trust that I would create in the near future? Thanks again, your work is excellent even if it is not in my favor.

Thanks so much your additional question. This provision would possibly allow you to remove trustees without court approval. But, you would have to follow the precise terms of the trust for the removal of a trustee. With regard to the right to transfer all the assets, it would depend upon the terms of the trust. If it gives you the right to make distributions in your discretion rather than in accordance with some specific parameters such as age, you could distribute the assets to your daughter in trust. But, you have to remember that the trust is for the benefit of your daughter and if the funds were not available to her (and they cannot be used for things that would otherwise be a parent's support obligation) when she reaches majority age, you would run the risk of being sued for a breach of your fiduciary duty.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. I understand.

You're welcome...it's been my pleasure to help! Have a great day!

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