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Removing a trustee may benefit a trust

Many people include trusts in their estate planning to include their loved ones and descendants in their wealth more easily. Trusts can handle large assets in more manageable ways than simply leaving them to heirs in wills. Assets in trusts can be more useful and less liable to excessive taxation.

Trustees or administrators become responsible for the management or use of funds or properties deposited in a trust, and these people or organizations end up with generally free rein with these assets. If the creators of trusts become concerned that trustees are not acting the best interests of the trust's beneficiaries, there are legal ways to remove a trustee.

Terms may guide the administration of trusts. For example, a person may forbid a trust from selling an asset unless certain requirements are met. If a trustee has failed to comply with the terms of a trust, the creator of a trust may remove the trustee. Alternatively, the beneficiaries may petition a court with jurisdiction to remove the trustee.

Beneficiaries may also have a case against a trustee if the trust's assets have been neglected or mismanaged to the point that the beneficiaries are at risk. This could be a breach of the fiduciary duties of the trustee. The same is true if a trustee has been using the position to enhance their own wealth or position, known as "self-dealing," unless the benefit is legal under Ohio law or the terms of a trust.

Other reasons, such as inappropriate behavior or hostility from trustees, can be used as grounds to remove a trustee. An attorney may help a trust's beneficiaries right the ship with new and better leadership for maintaining and distributing assets.

Source: FindLaw, "5 Reasons to Remove a Trustee From Your Trust," Brett Snider, accessed April 27, 2018

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