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Christopher B, Esq
Christopher B, Esq, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2677
Experience:  Litigation Attorney with education focus on estate planning and tax
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My cousin left 'old trustee because of unscrupulous

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My cousin left `old trustee because of unscrupulous behavior. The new trustee agreed to proceed against the former trustee and to get a forensic accountant because of so much bad behavior. But then cousin and I found out by accident that current trustee
paid former trustee thousands of dollars from cousin's trust fund AFTER the old trustee was removed. When confronted the newv trustee said he does not know why, that he pays all bills from my cousins trust fund because the current trustee assumes that they
are honest bills but sometimes does not read them. Cousin asked new trustee for accounting but it has been 2 months . Current trustee sent my cousin mean, threatening letter cutting cousins beneficiary checks and stating that current will remove himself as
trustee only to his friends, but did not mention accounting which is the heart of the matter. What is the role of trustee-is trustee supposed to protect trust assets ? Does current trustee have an accounting from former trustee?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello: This is PhillipsEsq. I am a licensed Attorney and I will be assisting you today.
My cousin left `old trustee because of unscrupulous behavior. The new trustee agreed to proceed against the former trustee and to get a forensic accountant because of so much bad behavior. But then cousin and I found out by accident that current trustee
paid former trustee thousands of dollars from cousin's trust fund AFTER the old trustee was removed. When confronted the newv trustee said he does not know why, that he pays all bills from my cousins trust fund because the current trustee assumes that they
are honest bills but sometimes does not read them. Cousin asked new trustee for accounting but it has been 2 months . Current trustee sent my cousin mean, threatening letter cutting cousins beneficiary checks and stating that current will remove himself as
trustee only to his friends, but did not mention accounting which is the heart of the matter. What is the role of trustee-is trustee supposed to protect trust assets ? Does current trustee have an accounting from former trustee?

Response: Trustee has fiduciary duty to protect trust assets, to review bills before paying them and to demand proper accounting from the predecessor Trustee.
If the Trustee paid bills that should not have been paid, then the Trustee has violated his fiduciary obligation and must account for the misappropriated assets.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What is a proper accounting
What if trustee did not demand proper accounting from former trustee (who I think is business partner but LLC does not show owner)
How does trustee account for misappropriated assets
Current trustee said he did not know where monies went , and would hire forensic accountant to find out and file suit against former trustee. But now current trustee says he is not going to the trouble,
Bank says current trustee paid thousands to former trustee(business partner)
Current trustee did not tell beneficiary, and when confronted by beneficiary he said he thoughtbit was honest bill and he paid it without reading it
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.
The CPA can get in trouble for an improper accounting, this is not really my area of practice, as I am not a CPA but if the CPA was doing business with the trustee that was stealing funds with the trust and breaking his fiduciary duty and he knowingly ignored this, then that CPA could get into trouble and needs to be reported to the state CPA body that oversees their conduct. If the CPA was not doing his job then payment should not be made. Often CPAs and attorneys have relationship in estate planning and as long as it does not rise to the level of fraud and other improper conduct, this relationship is acceptable. The current trustee has a duty to the trust and the beneficiary not to waste the funds of the trust and blindly paying $1000s to a CPA for an improper accounting would be a breach of fiduciary duty. Again please positively rate my answer and I will move on to the next question.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.
I see you reviewed this answer, could you please positively rate my answer.

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