I don't trust my trustee.
August 18, 2011 2:55 PM   Subscribe

This is a question about an inherited estate and a trustee that I suspect is not acting in my best interests.

I understand that you are not my lawyer and are not providing me with legal advice, obviously.

I recently inherited a substantial estate upon the death of my last surviving immediate relative. The estate is split into two parts: one, the significantly larger part, is managed by financial advisers who also serve as trustees; the other smaller part is managed by a relative and a lawyer. This lawyer is the trustee that I and my relative (the other trustee) are beginning to suspect of what I believe is referred to as a breach of fiduciary duty - specifically, we think he is not acting impartially and is perhaps being influenced to a certain degree by an interested third party who has a claim to a portion of the smaller part of the trust.

My relative and I would like to either have this lawyer/trustee removed from the trust, or collapse the trust entirely, leaving me responsible for the funds. (I prefer the former but will not argue against the latter.)

What kind of lawyer do I need to consult in this situation? Do I want a lawyer who specializes in estates and trusts, or a lawyer with a different specialty? (This is in NYC.) Any actual lawyer recommendations would also be helpful.
posted by tiny plastic sockpuppet to Law & Government (5 answers total)
A property lawyer with a specialization in estates and trusts is exactly what you need.
posted by smorange at 3:06 PM on August 18, 2011

INYL, TINLA. Look for someone familiar with wills & trusts, as well as probate litigation. Unless there's other dimensions to the problem, this doesn't sound like a property issue.
posted by Hylas at 3:36 PM on August 18, 2011

The estate was never in probate - it was set up as a living revocable trust for specifically that reason. It's also sort of a property issue, I think? The smaller part of the trust involves the sale of an apartment and the proceeds thereof.
posted by tiny plastic sockpuppet at 3:48 PM on August 18, 2011

You still need a lawyer who works in trusts and estates. Even if this inheritance wasn't probated in court, it is a probate/estate issue.
posted by freshwater at 6:09 PM on August 18, 2011

Nthing estates and trusts lawyer. I know a good one on Long Island if that's your area. You can contact me via perpetualbeta.com
posted by mikewas at 7:08 PM on August 18, 2011

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