Skip to main content

MI Trust all trustees (including myself as successor) need to decline. Now what?

Allendale, MI |

Who needs to be notified? Anything need to be done through probate court so someone else can handle? Thanks in advance for assistance!

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

Read the trust agreement to see how an alternate successor trustee should be appointed. If all named persons decline, they should do so in writing. A last resort, is to go to the court for appointment of a successor trustee. You did not say if this is a "testamentary trust" (a trust within a Will) or a stand alone trust (revocable or irrevocable trust). Hopefully, you will find the answer in the document itself. If you haven't already done so, please consult an estate administration attorney to see if you need to go to probate court or circuit civil court. It can depend on what kind of trust this is. Good luck.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

9 lawyers agree

2 comments

Asker

Posted

Thank you so much for the reply. I read through the documents again. There is a will that states "the residuary estate" is given to the trustee (also named as personal reps in will). The certificate of trust states it is revocable and not registered. The documents state "Resignation by Trustee: ....written notice to the beneficiaries.....If no successor is named, a remaining co-Trustee may continue to serve...." I called probate court $150 for a petition. The beneficiaries are 3 charities. There is no immediate cash available for expenses and I am not able to pay an attorney to take care of. I appreciate the assistance. Thank you.

Ruth Elaine McMahon

Ruth Elaine McMahon

Posted

Keep on reading about how to name a new trustee. If it doesn't specify how this is done, you need to go to court and have someone appointed. If there are concerns about the trust assets - like environmental contamination, for example - it's possible that no one will agree to serve. Ruth E. McMahon, Esq., B.C.S. DUNLAP & MORAN, P.A. 6111 Exchange Way Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202 (941) 907-9700 (941) 373-1451 FAX rmcmahon@dunlapmoran.com<mailto:Wayrmcmahon@dunlapmoran.com> Celebrating 20 Years of Service to Our Clients ************************************ This transmission contains confidential or proprietary information intended only for the person(s) named. Any use, distribution, copying or disclosure by another person is strictly prohibited. Due to its inherent nature, e-mail may be vulnerable to interception by unauthorized parties during transmission. We cannot guarantee the confidentiality of any information sent by e-mail or that it will be considered "attorney-client" privileged. If you do not wish us to communicate by e-mail on your matters, please notify us at your earliest convenience. In the absence of such notification, your consent will be assumed and we will not take any additional security measures, such as encryption. Although we have taken steps to ensure that this e-mail and attachments are free from any virus, we advise that, in keeping with good computing practice, the recipient should ensure they are actually virus-free. ************************************

Posted

It is very important to read the trust. It should give directions on HOW a trustee resigns - usually in writing and usually with 30 days notice, etc. The Trust may also say HOW to fill a vacancy - for example, all the beneficiaries may be able to vote for a new trustee. However, if all the named trustees are refusing to act, does that imply there is a problem with the trust, or a family dispute? If so, you may want the probate court involved to supervise. Please feel free to contact me if you need more help.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

8 lawyers agree

1 comment

Asker

Posted

Thank you for the reply. No other family involved. The 2 trustees named are a neighbor (declined) and friend (me). There is no immediate cash to pay expenses and I do not have money to front until I could be reimbursed. The 3 beneficiaries are charities. It looks like I can decline by letting the beneficiaries know. It just seems confusing with 3 of them and I don't know if they would/could/want to actually take care of. Main asset is house that will have to be sold, but will need much work before listing. Thank you for your assistance!

Posted

The trust document is normally crafted by the Attorney to provide for this very situation. If ALL of the Successor Trustees resigned (for whatever reason), then a Court of competent jurisdiction can appoint a Trustee. See an Estate Planning lawyer to take this further. See Avvo.Com under Find-A-Lawyer. Good Luck.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

5 lawyers agree

1 comment

Asker

Posted

Thank you for the reply. My understanding is a petition needs to be filed with probate court which costs $150 and normally drafted by an attorney. I never signed anything and do not have the money to cover a lawyer or court fees. Thank you!

Posted

Any existing trustee needs to register the trust and seek instruction from the Probate Court. MCL 700.7209 provides instruction as to where the registration may be made. MCL 700.1401 indicates who needs to be served notice. MCL 700.7201, 7202 & 7203 deal with the jurisdiction of the Court to deal with the issues. More than that cannot be determined without reviewing the trust and determining the factual circumstances that you allude to in your question.

Donald B. Lawrence, Jr. (P16463)* THE HUBBARD LAW FIRM, P.C.* DID 517-886-7115 Fax: 517-886-7129 Email: dlawrence@hubbardlaw.com The information provided does not constitute legal advice and no attorney client relationship exists based upon this response. Unless specifically noted to the contrary, information refers to Michigan law. Prior to taking action, you should consult directly with an attorney for specific advice based on a full factual disclosure about your own legal situation. This information is provided for your personal use and may be reproduced for non-commercial distribution. All copies must include the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2011 THE HUBBARD LAW FIRM, P.C. THE HUBBARD LAW FIRM, P.C.* 5801 W. Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI 48917 Phone: 517-886-7176; Fax: 517-886-1080 *AV Peer Rated, Martindale-Hubbell® Please consider the environment before printing this response

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

5 lawyers agree

3 comments

Asker

Posted

Thank you for the reply and references to MCL info. Unfortunately, I do not have the money to front to get this taken care of. I did not sign anything and was not aware there would be so much required. Thank you!

Donald B. Lawrence Jr.

Donald B. Lawrence Jr.

Posted

If you have never accepted in writing to act as trustee nor taken any action to act as trustee, the even if you are nominated as trustee, you have no obligations to act as trustee. In such instance, just abstain from taking any action with respect to either the estate or the trust. If someone contacts you regarding acting as Trustee, just let them know you have not agreed to be trustee and not taken any action with respect to the trust. Donald B. Lawrence, Jr. (P16463)* THE HUBBARD LAW FIRM, P.C.* DID 517-886-7115 Fax: 517-886-7129 Email: dlawrence@hubbardlaw.com<mailto:dlawrence@hubbardlaw.com> 5801 W. Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI 48917 Phone: 517-886-7176; Fax: 517-886-1080 *AV Peer Rated, Martindale-Hubbell(r) Confidentiality: This E-mail and attachments are intended for designated recipients and may contain information that is privileged, confidential and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the addressee or the addressee's agent, please notify sender by immediate email and destroy all copies. If you obtained this via electronic eavesdropping, you violated the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. Disclosure, duplication, distribution or actions taken in reliance on contents herein is prohibited without explicit consent of the Hubbard Law Firm. E-mail sent to or from the Hubbard Law Firm, P.C. or any of its attorneys or staff members may be retained as required by law. Security: Internet communications, while directed to and intended for the designated recipient with a reasonable expectation of privacy, are not secure beyond interception and therefore the firm accepts legal responsibility for the contents of this message only as originally sent. Any inadvertent disclosure shall not compromise or waive the Attorney-client privilege as to this communication or otherwise. Although the firm operates anti-virus programs, it relies on the recipient to maintain its own security features and the firm does not accept responsibility for any damage whatsoever that is caused by viruses being passed. This email and replies to this email may be monitored by the firm for operational and business reasons. Signature: Nothing in this message is intended to constitute an Electronic signature for purposes of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) or the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act ("e-sign") unless a specific statement to the contrary is included in this message. Circular 230: Any tax advice or communication contained within this document was not intended or written to be used and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed. Nor may it be used to promote, market or recommend to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. THE HUBBARD LAW FIRM, P.C. P please consider the environment before printing this email.

Asker

Posted

Thank you for the follow up response. I appreciate it!

Posted

As previously stated, the trust should tell you the appropriate individuals who are to be notifed and how they are to be notifed when a trustee resigns. Yet, when in doubt, it is best to ask a lawyer because the failure to give notice to the proper people could end up complicating the matter further. Depending upon your situation, the interested persons may be able to use a nonjudicial settment agreement according to MCL 700.7111(3)(d) to select a new trustee without probate court involvement. It is always possible to go to the probate court and have them approve your settlement agreement, but it is not always necessary. Whether or not this is an option will depend upon the specifics of the trust, the relationship among the interested persons and the possible successor trustees.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

1 lawyer agrees

1 comment

Asker

Posted

Thank you for the reply. Beneficiaries are 3 charities. Trustees named are neighbor (declined) and friend (me). I will look up MCL reference to see if that helps. There is no immediate cash in estate that I am aware of to cover attorney fees, etc. The attorney who originally drew up said she can't help. Thank you!

Wills and estates topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics