I am a 50/50 beneficiary in an irrevocable trust in California. My brother is the successor trustee and other beneficiary. We have a very bad relationship and he has already displayed via text hostility. Is that admissible as evidence to remove him? Also, my father was the original trustee who passed away. I read that my brother is required to provide me with an accounting (I am looking for bank account net statements specifically) at least once annually, when the trust closes out or when the trustee changes. Does my father’s passing and him becoming the successor trustee constitute a change in the trustee and is he then required to send me bank statement records and balances that are to be distributed via the trust if I request them prior to a year from father’s passing?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Hostility is one factor a Court will consider in a Petition for Removal of a Trustee, but that alone will not carry the day. There would have to be other acts of misfeasance or malfeasance. As for an accounting, you are required to an annual accounting, but you are also entitled to make reasonable requests for information, such as bank statements, information about assets, etc... But you are not allowed to make requests frequently. Once you have made a request for documents or information, the Trustee has either 30 or 60 days to respond. If he doesn't, then that is also grounds for suspension or removal.
I agree with everything Mr. Feldman has said. I would add, however, that yes the death of one trustee and the new trustee taking over, triggers a duty to provide an accounting.