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How do I remove myself as trustee while living in Asia?

Denver, CO |

I'm currently living in Asia. I've never received a copy of a family trust which I believe is irrevocable and of which I am the trustee. It was created in CO where my family resides and where my father passed away in '05. I have asked for a copy, to no avail. I did receive a copy of five random pages of my father's will. Initially my brother was appointed trustee, but due to conflict of interest (he's the financial adviser of trust assets) I was appointed. Next in line would be my sister and then a trust company. My sister also works for the same company where the assets are held.

Attorney Answers 5

  1. You can file a letter with the attorney for the family trust stating that you are relinquishing your rights and position as the trustee for the trust. In such a situation, it would automatically go to the next person in line. You are not allowed to assign your right to serve as the trustee of the trust to another person. I would consult the attorney for the trust about how to best handle this matter.

    The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are interested in his legal services, feel free to call Chris at (303) 409-7635 at his law office in the Denver Tech Center. All initial consultations are free of charge.

  2. You can resign as trustee by signing a resignation with two witnesses and a notary and giving copies to the trustee and beneficiaries.

    The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.

  3. Mr. Leroi is correct.

  4. I agree with the other responses, but for GOSH SAKES...why have you allowed this to go on this way for 7 years?!? How can you possibly act as trustee when you do not have a copy of the trust? You are personally liable if you breach your fiduciary duties to the beneficiaries. Ignorance is probably not going to be a defense, here. As trustee, you are the person who legally has a right to control the trust, at this point. Why have you not done so? You have gotten yourself into a mess. Resigning as trustee may not get you out of it, either.

    I would meet with a lawyer to discuss this, as soon as possible. Resigning may be necessary, but you need to try to protect yourself from potential claims, first.

    James Frederick

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.

  5. A trustee can always resign, but you probably should discuss this with a lawyer.

    This general response is not intended to be legal advice because I don't have all the facts. The particular facts in each instance will change the recommendation significantly. Any statements made in your posting on Avvo are not protected by the attorney-client privilege because they are shared with third parties. I require a written contract for legal services, so an attorney-client relationship may not be presumed merely by my response to an Avvo posting.

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