Bountiful, UT asked in Estate Planning for Utah

Q: What happens with a family trust wherein one of the heirs does not cooperate with the trustees?

Can the trustees bypass that heir and have it closed anyway? Does an heir who is uncooperative with the trustees and their attorney have any rights to contest what the trustees have done with the trust? The uncooperative heir is myself because of the dysfunctional relationships in my family. Thank you.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Kenneth Prigmore
Kenneth Prigmore
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Spanish Fork, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: If a Trust is handled incorrectly, you can contest that in court. You definitely have the right as an heir to contest.

Being uncooperative won't be appreciated by a judge. You want to have a good reason to contest, and be prepared to pay for attorneys fees that are not paid back if your contest fails.

If the Trust has been handled correctly, and you simply want to use the contest as leverage with family relationships, that is a risky game. If a judge determines you are misusing the court process you can be held in contempt of court and fined and in rare cases briefly jailed.

Wesley Winsor agrees with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

Wesley Winsor
Wesley Winsor
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Saint George, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: I agree. Ultimately if you have a valid reason for not cooperating, then you don't have a lot to worry about. It is never a good idea to be frivolous withe the Court system. Typically, the resources of the Court are less than are needed.

The trustee will likely be able to move forward without your cooperation, depending on what the issue is, and if you remain uncooperative you may miss out or come under liability as the trustee is legally entitled to carry out the terms of the trust.

Much of this is speculation as I have no idea what the "uncooperative efforts" are.

Best of luck.

1 user found this answer helpful

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