What if siblings do not trust another sibling as Trustee?

Dear Ms. Allison: My sister was appointed Trustee to my parents’ living trust. My brothers and I do not believe she will fairly divide the assets between all of us. She didn’t handle his life insurance right when my father died, and let it lapse. So why would she do things right when mother goes? R.V. in Tulsa County

Dear R.V.:

I am sorry for your loss. You need a lawyer to review the Trust for you and represent you to insure that your sister appropriately construes the provisions of the Trust and fairly divides the assets between you siblings – if this is what the trust language instructs.

It is often the very best thing you can do to hire a lawyer early in the process so that from the beginning, the Trustee duties are clear and the Trustee is essentially prevented from doing anything incorrectly.

It may sound expensive, but getting your lawyer involved early avoids a lot of legal fees later. Waiting until your mother dies and things have gone awry is not the best plan. Once things have been given out it is difficult, if not impossible, to get them back and trying to do so is very expensive – both monetarily and emotionally.

Always, any time a Beneficiary lacks trust in a Trustee, a trust administration lawyer should be hired to take steps to prevent distributions that should not occur or avoid asset management that reduces the value of the estate.

That’s your question, Asked and Answered. My best to you,

Gale Allison

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