Chandler, AZ asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona

Q: As second named trustee, can I file suit on behalf of the estate when first successor trustee chooses not to act?

I am the second named successor trustee of an irrevocable trust and the trust document’s only wording regarding succession states, “If ___ fails to act for any reason, then ____ shall act without bond”

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: First try to get the first named trustee to sign a resignation. Or, if a trust protector is named in the trust document, ask the trust protector to remove the first named trustee. If the foregoing doesn't work, hire a trust administration attorney to review the trust document to see what your options are. You might be able to safely step up and start serving as trustee, but you will need an updated trust certification. Or the attorney might want to send a certified letter to the first named trustee before you start servicing as trustee. If all else fails, yes, you might have to go to court, but most likely this can be resolved without going to court, but you will want an attorney's assistance to keep you in the safe zone.

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