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Why might you need to remove a trustee?

A trust owner's goal when selecting a trustee is to find someone that will handle distributions of assets per their preferences. Unfortunately, things don't always go according to plan. It may become necessary to remove a trustee before or after your death.

There are many reasons why it might be appropriate to remove a trustee.

Trustees have a fiduciary duty to manage the trust responsibly, including complying with its terms. They're obligated to act in the best interest of the beneficiaries. If they fail to fulfill their obligations by demonstrating a negligent and incompetent breach of duty, then the beneficiaries can petition the court to have the trustee removed from their role.

You should know that trustees aren't supposed to handle the trust in a way that benefits their personal interests. Any instance in which they engage in self-dealing is a break with their fiduciary duty. The beneficiaries can petition the probate court to have the trustee removed for such a breach of duty.

In some cases, beneficiaries and trustees are unable to see eye-to-eye about the distribution of assets. The beneficiaries may have to ask the probate court judge to remove the trustee for good cause in such instances.

Beneficiaries and trustees don't always get along. They may develop hostility toward one another, which may cause a significant breakdown in communication. Beneficiaries may want to petition the court to remove the trustee in such instances. Someone they can better get along with can be assigned if such a removal happens.

If you have some difficulties with the trustee in charge of your trust, then it may be time to consider removing them from their role. An attorney here in Cincinnati can help you both remove the existing trustee and identify a new one.

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