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Do Not Contest A Trustee in Bad Faith

It is probably safe to assume that many settlors have chosen a trustee because they felt they may have been the most qualified and responsible person that was up to the task of administering the trust. However, it does happen that this trusted person may become the last person you'd want handling your trust assets. And your beneficiaries may want them removed for various reasons such as suspected embezzlement, mismanagement, wasting assets, or even simply not sharing information with them.

Of course it is perfectly within the rights of any beneficiary to ask for an accounting of the trust instrument, but beware, if you are going to do this you had better be doing it on a 'good faith' basis. That is, don't just contest the accounting of a trust out of spite or to cause a hassle for the trustee. As sure as the trustee would not like it, neither would the probate court. And under Ca. Probate Code Section 17211 (a) if the court determines the contest was unreasonably made or in bad faith, they may reward against the contestant compensation and all costs associated with the litigation. This would be charged against your interest in the trust and then you are held liable for any amount outstanding.

Always make sure that you are contesting a trustee's accounting with reasonable cause and because you are concerned about what is right for the trust. Not because of personal issues with the trustee. A professional Trust Attorney will consider all of your allegations and then help you to proceed with a trust accounting contest if it is warranted.

*This blog entry was not written by an Attorney and should not be constituted as professional legal advice.

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