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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 110485
Experience:  Experienced in Trust and Succession Law, including Louisiana Laws
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in 2009, my oldest brother and i became co-trustees of a trust

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in 2009, my oldest brother and i became co-trustees of a trust that contained a lake house property. that same year my older brother gave permission to the neighbor on the east to fill in with dirt between our and his property up to the very egde of our foundation. my brother did this without consulting with me. when i found out i told him this was not acceptable as this portion of our property flooded in 1993 and now with the additional fill any flood water would extensively flood our garage (as did the 1993 flood) plus, push flood water further up on our property on the west side probably making the property inaccessible. can this be brought now in a hearing to have my older brother removed as trustee. this flooding concern is not the only issue involved in asking for his removal. or, is there a statute of limitations. if there is can the above info still be presented in a hearing and the judge just not admit it. thanks, j
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Unless your trust states otherwise, the co-trustees must act in unison on all decisions. If he did not get your consent for this decision, then the decision was not valid (not that your neighbor would know or should have known this) and your brother would be liable for correcting this problem that he had no right to give consent on.

It is grounds to go to court, if he will not now pay to correct the problem to prevent water from flowing towards the house, on the basis he made a unilateral decision which could cause harm to the estate and as such he breached his duty to the trust. It is more likely than not the court will order him to pay to correct the problem rather than remove him for only one bad decision or breach of the trust. There is a 3 year statute of limitations in Iowa from the date of the breach of fiduciary duty.

If he has engaged in multiple breaches of duty to the trust and this is simply the icing on the cake, then yes, this would be part of the evidence that he is not looking out for the best interests of the trust.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

well, your 3 year statute implies i probably can't do any thing. however, as you might understand this dirt fill/or regrading is permanent and ongoing. fyi. we have not had significant rain or snow since 2009, to cause any flooding in the region of property in question as to display what the consequences of the regrading will cause. if i get the court to approve a hydrology study to prove adverse affect of the regrading do i have to pay for it..

Thank you for your response.

I was not aware of when he made this particular decision about the dirt fill. However, at the very least if he made this decision and it harms the estate you can go to court to make him pay to correct it, since he already given permission to the neighbor.

If you get the court to approve the study and you are correct, then the court can make him pay for the study or will make the trust pay for the study, that is up to the court's discretion.
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