Renegade trustee

Asked almost 4 years ago - San Diego, CA

my father died and left my brother the Trustee. per the Trust my fathers house was to be put on the market and sold and split 5 ways. My Brother put the house on the market for $385K approx $200K more than the apprassied value; can he do this? The price was questioned and he lowered it by $10K; this didn't happened until almost 9 mths after the orginal listing. The real estate agent confirmed that the original price was determind by my brother and told me that the correct price should be around $180K to $200K. i requested an apprassial and my brother said "NO". What can I do to make him list the price for the correct current market value? Can the lisiting agent get in any trouble knowing that he has listed a house for approx $200K more than its value? Thank you

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Henry Daniel Lively

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Your brother is the trustee and has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of the trust. He must follow the terms of the trust and act reasonably. You can go to court and force a distribution of the assets of the trust if he does not act reasonably. This could include replacement of him as trustee. It would be a good idea for you to have your own attorney on your side.

    Any individual seeking legal advice for their own situation should retain their own legal counsel as this response provides information that is general in nature and not specific to any person's unique situation. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Advice given in this response cannot be used to eliminate penalties with the IRS or any other governmental agency.

  2. Henry Daniel Lively

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Your brother is the trustee and has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of the trust. He must follow the terms of the trust and act reasonably. You can go to court and force a distribution of the assets of the trust if he does not act reasonably. This could include replacement of him as trustee. It would be a good idea for you to have your own attorney on your side.

    Any individual seeking legal advice for their own situation should retain their own legal counsel as this response provides information that is general in nature and not specific to any person's unique situation. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Advice given in this response cannot be used to eliminate penalties with the IRS or any other governmental agency.

  3. Steven J. Fromm

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . You need to stand up to the school yard bully; bring your attorney to the party. Your brother must follow the terms of the trust and act in the beneficiaries best interest. You need to get him to understand this and the best way to show you mean business is to hire counsel for you and the 3 others. Have the attorney demand a copy of the trust and to get an interim accounting. Who knows what he is doing and whether he can be trusted. He may be taking money from the trust. Get moving on this and get an experience probate/estates attorney ASAP, and stop taking his abuse. You may need to bring an action for his removal as trustee since he is not acting prudently and in the best interests of the beneficiaries and he seems basically incompetent to be a trustee.

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