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Trustee is ignoring the will

Discussion in 'Estate Administration & Probate Court' started by smc635, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. smc635

    smc635 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hi Everyone, My mother passed away in 2014 and it was a mess. I could go into it all but do not think it is relevant to my current issue. My mother was diagnosed as mentally ill and coerced into creating a will that put 40% of my inheritance into a trust and 60% was given to me as cash. I am confirmed as medically disabled after having suffered my second stroke shortly before my mother's passing as a result of a neurological disease I have. This is all documented and working is not really an option right now for several documented medical reasons. The trust was established for me to purchase real estate, pay my medical expenses, or pay for ongoing education. 3 years ago I asked the trustee if I could purchase a small condo in my now home state of Florida. He flatly denied this request. I am revisiting it now and he again is denying my request to purchase real estate. His argument is that the trust is only to be used after I spend all of my money. This is nonsense. Even if I were to buy a condo after I ran out of money, I could not pay taxes or condo fees or taxes and would most likely lose it in foreclosure. So again the bottom line is the trustee is refusing to honor the will for specious reasons and the estate attorney is of no help with. He keeps referring me back to the trustee. Do I have any options here? And what are they?
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    One would have to read the trust document to answer your questions. Have you read it? Is the trustee allowed to do what he's doing?
     
  3. smc635

    smc635 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yes, I have read it. I have also had three attorneys I was hoping to hire read it and all agreed with the interpretation I discussed above. One did tell me that no matter what I do with my own estate, my sister inherits the trust if I pass as I currently have no wife or children, which explains a few things. I cannot imagine the trustee can do this but I am trying to figure out how to legally enforce it without spending too much money I need for my own healthcare.
     
  4. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    If the trust gives the trustee discretion in distributing the funds (as it normally would), then you're probably out of luck.
     
  5. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    Which interpretation is that? Yours or the trustee's?

    You were smart enough to talk to three attorneys. Do you really think this is something you are going to be able to do on the cheap?

    Are you implying that there is some conflict of interest?
     
  6. smc635

    smc635 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    So there is no recourse if he just ignores the will? There must be something.
     
  7. smc635

    smc635 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yes, absolutely. My sister is functionally broke because her husband stopped working ten years ago while they continue to live like kings. They are panic selling some of their assets now.
     
  8. smc635

    smc635 Law Topic Starter New Member

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  9. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    What does the WILL have to do with anything at this point? The TRUST is the thing you are concerned with.
     
  10. smc635

    smc635 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am not an attorney and do not understand the difference. I am shocked that a trustee could just ignore the document.
     
  11. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    I believe that you do not understand the role and fiduciary responsibilities of the trustee. It sounds like the trust doesn't just say that you get something because you want it. Frankly, that would negate the intent of the trust in the first place.

    I suspect that the trust was put in place because it was believed that you couldn't be trusted with the money in one lump sum. Because of this, another person was put in place to supervise how the money is spent and that person is REQUIRED to use sound judgement in his decision making process. If the trustee feels that your desire to purchase a <thing> does not make fiscal sense, then the trustee is REQUIRED to deny your request.
     
  12. smc635

    smc635 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    None of this applies to me. The trustee freely admits the purpose of the trust is to provide housing for me. He states he will deny any attempt to use the trust for this purpose until I run out of money. At which point, I will not be able to have any home due to the condo fees and taxes associated with it.
     
  13. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    How much is in the trust? How much is the condo?
     
  14. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    Much as you have ignored the questions in # 5.
     
  15. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Well, I don't have the trust and you do, so I guess I have to take your word for it, especially considering how adamant you are that you are right.

    You need an attorney, not an internet forum. Best of luck to you.
     
  16. smc635

    smc635 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    The trust is enough to pay cash for a small condo in my area. About $200k.
     
  17. smc635

    smc635 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I answered all of them but in three separate posts as post 5 came in while I was responding to a different comment.
     
  18. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Who is the trustee? Not a name, but a relationship to you.
     
  19. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    What this tells me is that, even if he bought a condo now, you would run out of money to pay taxes and condo fees at some point. Buying a condo is probably not a fiscally sound thing to do.
     
    justblue likes this.
  20. smc635

    smc635 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    The trustee is an accountant who was a neighbor of my family growing up. And who did my family's taxes for several years. He has failed to provide me with any tax filings or statements for the trust, which are both required.
     

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