Q: Is it fraud to skip over a named successor trustee, and instead nominate and fill the vacancy with an outside party?

The successor trustee who was handling the administration of my irrevocable trust died. My Aunt was named second as a successor but she declined.

The next successor trustee named in the trust instrument was a bank but the bank was never informed of this. My Dad's widow, (an omitted spouse), nominated a professional fiduciary who I, as a beneficiary, never agreed to and that fiduciary was appointed at an exparte hearing despite the absence of my agreement. At the time I was without counsel. The professional fiduciary and her trust attorneys have paid themselves $890,000 in fees so far and the trust was originally only worth 3 million.

1 Lawyer Answer
Jackie Marie Howard
Jackie Marie Howard
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Roseville, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You said the fiduciary was court appointed. Did you get notice of the ex parte hearing? More facts would be needed to determine if you have any recourse. Seek counsel for a private consultation so that you can provide all the facts of your situation for a thorough evaluation.

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