The trustee will not release the funds to me.

A fellow caregiver asked...

I am the beneficiary of a trust that my mother left for me. The trustee of the trust will not release any funds and act as if it's their money. How do I stop them from selling my mom's house dirt cheap and getting any money from that trust? Mom died in February 2010.

Expert Answer

Steve Weisman hosts the nationally syndicated radio show A Touch of Grey, heard on more than 50 stations, including WABC in New York City and KRLA in Los Angeles. He is a practicing lawyer specializing in estate planning and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. He's a public speaker and commentator who has appeared on many radio and television shows throughout the country, and he's the legal editor of Talkers magazine, the preeminent trade publication of talk radio. His latest book is The Truth About Avoiding Scams.

The duties and responsibilities of the trustee are as set out in the specific trust document. I urge you to contact a lawyer to review the trust on your behalf to see if the trustee is acting properly in accordance with the terms of the trust. If not, the lawyer could contact the trustee on your behalf to help remedy the situation. If that does not work, you could go to court to have the trustee removed and another apppointed. Again, however, the trust document itself will be your best source of information as to what options are open to you which is why I suggest you contact an experienced trust lawyer.