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Trustee responsibility for irrevocable trust

Tampa, FL |

I am a beneficiary of a trust which allows principal disbursements under HEMS. There is a corporate trustee and a family member co trustee. Who makes the decision for HEMS? I want to know before I approach them. Thanks.

I worry because the family member trustee and I don't get along and he doesn't even speak to me.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. It depends on the language of the trust. If they are both co-trustees and there is no language in the trust stating who makes those decisions, then both of them. Obviously it would make sense to direct your questions to the corporate trustee rather than the family member you don't get along with.


  2. Attorney Schneider gave you an outstanding answer and perfect advice. In addition, please sit witha local attny and he or she will work you . Take care.

    Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.


  3. Most likely-both have to agree because both signatures would be necessary.
    Discuss with the corporate trustee. If it is a split decision-you might be able to get a court order.

    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.


  4. Ultimately, the trustees make the decisions to distribute based on HEMS. However, the range of discretion the trustees have to make distributions is based upon that provided for by the grantor. You need to look to the standard of distribution provided in the trust to determine the range of discretion the trustees have to make those distributions. In any case, the trustees each have a duty to act in the best interests of the beneficiary (you) within the instructions provided by the grantor. As mentioned by another attorney, if I were in your shoes, I would approach the corporate trustee who can then approach your family member co-trustee on your behalf. If you believe that the family member is NOT properly representing your interests, you should have a trusts and estates attorney advise you in this matter.

    Carol Johnson Law Firm, P.A. : (727) 647-6645 : carol@caroljohnsonlaw.com : Wills, Trusts, Real Property, Probate, Special Needs: Information provided here is anecdotal and should not be relied upon or considered legal advice. Every matter is different and answers given here are general in nature and may not reflect current Florida law at the time you are reading this posting. Please contact me if you feel you need additional assistance with your matter.

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