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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22829
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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Kia ora 😎 My question is: I am a trustee & also a

Customer Question

Kia ora 😎 My question is : I am a trustee & also a beneficiary of a family trust. My brother & I were signatories on the bank account only. I was bullied to revoke my signing authority but refused to sign paperwork. Cheques were then written out and duly signed by my brother and another trustee. How is that legal?
JA: Since estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: New Zealand
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Statements were not made available to me and all correspondence was ignored. As my mother has since passed away I've received a cheque but still have no settlement statements . The cheque is not signed by me and I have not banked it.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 8 months ago.

Kia ora

I am just reading this now

Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 8 months ago.

You can advise the bank that you are a trustee and ask for copies of the bank statements. As a trustee you are entitled to that information. The bank may only need some but not all signatures, but if this was set up for all three to sign, then this should not have happened. But trustees can make majority decisions in some cases, and need all to agree on others. Distribution may need all three but ths doesnt necessarily make it illegal. In this situation, where trust has faded, you may want to progress matters with a family meeting, or even with a professional mediation to restore better family relationships. You do have rights to take this to court under the Trustee Act but this would be very expensive and damage the relationships even more than now

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Relationships are damaged already. No problem there. My brother was also enduring power of attorney for mum then all of a sudden my sister was. My brother did not cancel POA, and does not recall signing anything to state this. At the time the trust was set up and POAs directed I myself was working in the solicitors office. My understanding is that they were the trust lawyer but that seemed to change to my sister's lawyer.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I am concerned if I bank the cheque I accept this series of events which I do not. The trust account with Bank will be closed and I will never get answer.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
The cheque is $40,000 however I believe actions taken by the others were illegal.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Where do I start getting answers?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
The solicitor appointed has since retired but the law firm is still in business
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 8 months ago.
Sorry , just had to go offline
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 8 months ago.
You can get copies of the trust statements from the lawyer because you are a trustee. The form will have the records and must provide these to the trustees. But accepting the cheques is unlikely to prejudice your position as the cheque is irregular but not illegal
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 8 months ago.
You can still check what has happened and challenge anything irregular

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