Can the trustee of an irrevocable trust be changed?

A fellow caregiver asked...

Can the trustee of an irrevocable trust be changed if we think he is mismanaging the trust? We have asked for a statement of all the transactions for the past six years and to date have not received one.

Expert Answer

Liza Hanks is the founder and owner of FamilyWorks Estate Planning, a law firm with offices in Campbell and Los Altos, California, and the author of The Busy Family's Guide to Estate Planning (Nolo, 2007).

It depends. The first thing to find out is whether that irrevocable trust permits the changing and replacing the trustee, and on what grounds such a change can be made. If so, it may spell out an easy way to remove and replace the trustee.

If not, you had best consult with an estate planning attorney, or one familiar with trusts and estates litigation to see what right you have under your state's law to take the trustee to court and have a court appoint a new trustee due to negligence or other wrongdoing.