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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22888
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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Good Morning, Could you please advise me as to who to contact.

Customer Question

Good Morning,
Could you please advise me as to who to contact. I am a Trustee in a Trust with my Mother, Brother and Sister. I am not kept informed on decision making or consulted when there is money to invest. My Lawyer wrote a letter to my sister stating she should adhere to the Trust Deeds and keep me informed. She ignored it.The Trust Lawyer says he can't do anything, as he is only a Lawyer of the Trust and not a Trustee. Our Lawyer said definitely not go to the Law Society as we wouldn't win. There must be a body above the Lawyers when a Trustee isn't do her job, we are totally fed up and can't believe my sister isn't made accountable. I would really appreciate your answer thankyou.Kind Regards, Julia
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 2 years ago.
When looking at your question, I thought that your sister might be a lawyer because you are talking about complaining to the Law Society. But that would be your sister acting in her personal capacity as a trustee, rather than as a lawyer. If a trustee is not doing their job correctly and keeping the other trustees informed, then the remedy is to apply to court to remove her as a trustee or appoint a replacement trustee. The courts take this step sometimes when a trustee is breaching the terms of the trust and failing to keep the other trustees informed, as you describe. But of course making an application to the High Court is not a cheap option. It is however the only way to regulate the trustee. As a first step, may I suggest that you have a family mediation in which you could set up some better rules for communication. The trustees would all need to agree to attend with a professional mediator to resolve this. That would be much quicker and cheaper than court action. But ultimately, court action is the only way to fix the problem if she will not change her stance.

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