There are two principal ways to remove a trustee from a personal trust: (1) by a power created in the trust agreement and (2) by a court proceeding. First, read the trust agreement carefully and see who, if anyone, has the power to remove the trustee and what are the terms and conditions for exercising the power. If you can go this route, it is usually much quicker and less expensive than the alternative. If you can not use a power of removal under the trust agreement, you must go to court to remove the trustee.
To remove a trustee in court, you must read the statutes and case law for your jurisdiction. You may have to prove that the trustee has failed to act properly or has acted improperly. This will be difficult to do without an attorney. If you can not obtain an attorney to assist you, a last ditch effort would be to write a letter to the local judge and explain your problem. The judge may be willing to point you in the right direction.
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hope this helps.
James Oberholtzer is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the States of Illinois, Oregon and Washington. He has offices in Chicago, Illinois and Portland, Oregon. His law practice focuses on estate planning, business, probate administration, family succession planning, tax,real estate and tax exempt organizations.
The foregoing statements do 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 the subject area in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state.
The answer depends in part on whether the trust was created under will or under agreement. If the trust was created under will, the Probate Court has jurisdiction to remove a trustee under Section 45a-242 of the CT Statutes.
If the trust was created by agreement, there might be a way to bypass a court if the agreement provides a mechanism to remove trustees. Otherwise, you could go to court under the same statute.
That statute essentially has two parts. The first part requires that the trustee essentially must have done something wrong to be removed. This can be, under CT law, a difficult process. The second part [ Sec 45a-242)(a)(4) ] allows the Court to remove a trustee if all of the beneficiaries seek the removal, if the removal is in the best interest of the trust and if no material purpose of the person creating the trust would be thwarted.
I've had experience in prosecuting and defending trustee removal petitions. If I can be of help, please let me know.
Jeffrey L. Crown
21 New Britain Ave.
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
Just so you have a clear answer, there is no specific "form" that you can fill out to have a trustee removed. If you need to go to court under the procedures Attorney Crown outlined, you (your lawyer, generally) will draft a petition laying out the relevant legal standard and stating the grounds for misconduct. It will then go to a hearing before the probate judge.