Sometimes people in North Carolina seek to have the trustee of an irrevocable trust removed. This type of estate litigation is possible in some situations, but there are several issues you have to understand if you’re considering removing a trustee in Greensboro. Here is what you need to consider.
Trustee Removal Reasons
North Carolina law sets out specific reasons for why a court can remove the trustee of an irrevocable trust. First, the trustee has a duty to cooperate with any co-trustee in order to ensure the trust is properly managed. When any trustee refuses to cooperate to the extent that he or she substantially impairs trust management, the court can remove the trustee.
Second, a trustee who is unwilling or unfit to perform his or her duties can also be subject to removal. Any trustee who persistently fails to adequately and effectively manage the trust, or who demonstrates an inability to protect the interests of the beneficiaries, can be removed by the court.
Third, a court can remove the trustee if there is any substantial change in circumstances that would result in the removal of a trustee serving the best interests of the beneficiaries.
Fourth, a trustee can be removed for any serious breach of trust. A breach of trust occurs when trustees breach their fiduciary duty owed to the beneficiaries. Trustees who, for example, use trust funds for their own purposes, or who abuse their positions to better their own interests at the expense of the beneficiaries commit a breach of trust.
Removing a Trustee in Greensboro
Many irrevocable trusts in North Carolina sent out terms that specifically address how beneficiaries, co-trustees, or settlors must proceed if they wish to remove the trustee. Anyone considering the removal of a trustee should always review the trust document and pay special attention to any terms that address this topic.
It’s also important to note that not just anyone can have the trustee removed. In general, only the settlor, the beneficiaries, or co-trustees can ask a court to remove a trustee.
However, trustee removal doesn’t always necessitate court involvement. In many situations, the trust will specify a trustee removal process that does not involve a court. If no such clause exists in the trust, asking a court to remove a trustee may be the only way to do it.
It’s also important to realize that once the trustee is removed, a successor trustee must take over the position. As with trustee removal, the trust document will usually detail who the successor trustee is.
The process of removing a trustee in Greensboro can be complicated, even if the facts seem straightforward. You should always talk to an estate planning lawyer if you are considering any type of estate litigation, including the removal of a trustee.