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Sudden Wealth Blog

How to Remove a Trustee Who Didn’t Deserve It

Lazy man sleeping on sofa. Trustee who didn't deserve it.
Are you beneficiary of a trust, and someone is acting as trustee who didn’t deserve it? If so, you are in a difficult position. The trustee most likely has access to money to be able to pay for lawyers to fight you. Meanwhile, you have to come out of your own pocket to hire a trust litigation attorney to help you. You aren’t alone. It’s all too common for someone to have to remove and replace a trustee who didn’t deserve it. This article will give a quick overview of your options.

How to Go to Court to Remove a Trustee Who Didn’t Deserve It.

Getting a court to remove a trustee from a trust typically involves the following steps:

Step One: Review the trust document.

The trust document should outline the specific conditions that must be met for a trustee to be removed. Look for any provisions that specify the grounds for removing a trustee, the procedure for removal, and who has the authority to remove a trustee. We recommend that you hire a trust litigation attorney to help you. (If you are in Arizona, call us at 602-443-4888.)

Step Two: Gather evidence.

If you believe that the trustee is not fulfilling their duties or is acting improperly, you will need to gather evidence to support your claim. This evidence could include documentation of the trustee’s actions, witness statements, or other relevant information.

Step Three: File a petition with the court.

To start the process of removing a trustee, you will need to file a petition with the court that oversees the trust. The petition should explain why you believe the trustee should be removed and provide any supporting evidence.

Step Four: Attend a hearing.

The court will schedule a hearing where you and the trustee will have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments for or against removing the trustee. It is important to have a strong legal argument and evidence to support your case.

Step Five: Obtain a court order.

If the court agrees that the trustee should be removed, it will issue an order to that effect. The court may also appoint a new trustee or provide other instructions related to the administration of the trust. It is important to note that removing a trustee can be a complex legal process, and it is often helpful to work with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process and help you achieve the best possible outcome.

Legal Grounds for Removing a Trustee Who Didn’t Deserve It.

There are several legal theories that can be used to remove a trustee from a trust, including:

Breach of Fiduciary Duty:

This is sometimes referred to as a Breach of Trust. A trustee is obligated to act in the best interests of the trust and its beneficiaries. If the trustee fails to fulfill this duty by, for example, mismanaging the trust’s assets, engaging in self-dealing, or failing to make distributions to the beneficiaries, the court may find that the trustee has breached their fiduciary duty and order their removal.

Incapacity or Misconduct:

If a trustee becomes incapacitated or engages in misconduct that impairs their ability to fulfill their duties, such as a conflict of interest, criminal activity, or fraud, the court may remove them.

Conflict with Beneficiaries:

If the trustee and beneficiaries are in conflict, and the trustee is unable to resolve the dispute or act impartially, the court may find that the trustee should be removed.

Changed Circumstances:

If the circumstances that existed when the trustee was appointed have changed significantly, and the trustee is no longer able to fulfill their duties, the court may find that it is in the best interests of the trust to remove the trustee.


A trustee may resign voluntarily, but they must do so in accordance with the trust document and applicable law. If a trustee resigns, the court may need to appoint a new trustee.

These Are Just Examples.

There are many other legal grounds for removing a trustee who didn’t deserve it. It’s best to consult with a trust litigation attorney to learn your options. For a more complete list of ways to remove a trustee and make sure you receive your inheritance, check out the the most complete list of ways to protect your inheritance available in one place. These legal theories may be used alone or in combination to justify the removal of a trustee from a trust. It is important to consult with an experienced attorney to determine the most appropriate legal theories to use in your specific case.

Act Now. If You Wait, You Can Lose Your Legal Claim.

It is possible for your legal cause of action to be lost if you do not act within the required time frame. This is because there are legal time limits, called statutes of limitations, that specify the period within which a person must bring a legal claim or lawsuit. If you fail to bring your claim within this time period, the court may dismiss your case, and you may lose the opportunity to pursue your legal rights. The length of the statute of limitations depends on the nature of the claim and the laws of the state or jurisdiction where the trust is being administered. It is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible if you believe that you have a legal claim. They can advise you on the applicable statute of limitations and the steps you need to take to preserve your claim. Waiting too long to pursue your claim can result in the loss of your legal rights, so it is important to act promptly to protect your interests.

Let Us Help You Remove a Trustee Who Didn’t Deserve It.

We’ve been helping trust beneficiaries get treated fairly since 2001. We regularly go to court to have a trustee who didn’t deserve it removed and replaced with a more responsible person. Call us at 602-443-4888. Don’t delay. There are deadlines, and if you don’t take action you may lose your legal rights!


Founding attorney Paul Deloughery has been an attorney since 1998, became a Certified Family Wealth Advisor. He is also the founder of Sudden Wealth Protection Law.