Losing Trust in your Trustee?

If you have found yourself questioning the actions of your trustee or executor and face challenges in engaging with them, it is crucial to address the issues promptly and professionally.

Situations that may arise

Various situations may lead you to question the actions of your trustee or executor. The common concerns may include:

  1. Non-Compliance with Legal Documents – Suspicions that the trustee is not managing funds in accordance with the trust deed or the will.
  2. Misappropriation of Funds – Worries that funds are being misused for personal benefit by the trustee or executor.
  3. Refusal of Distributions – Instances where the trustee is unwilling to make distributions as required in the trust deed or the will.
  4. Conflict of Interest – Concerns about a potential conflict of interest compromising the impartiality of the trustee or executor in performing their duties.

Addressing Concerns with the Trustee or Executor

The first step is always to communicate your concerns directly with the trustee or executor. Attempting to resolve issues amicably without resorting to legal action is advisable. Open dialogue can often lead to a better understanding of each party's perspective and a resolution that satisfies all involved.

Court Intervention

However, if communication breaks down and the trustee or executor remains uncooperative, seeking Court intervention may be necessary. Under Order 54 of the Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2015, the Court possesses the authority to direct the administration of a trust or estate and, if warranted, remove the trustee or executor.

In an administration proceeding, the Court can address various aspects, including:

  • Determining questions arising in the administration of an estate or the execution of a trust
  • Protecting the interests and rights of beneficiaries
  • Directing the trustee or executor to furnish and verify accounts
  • Ordering the payment of estate/trust funds into Court, and
  • Mandating specific actions or refraining from certain acts by the trustee or executor.

How Sharrock Pitman Legal can help?

We have a team of experienced lawyers in litigation, trusts and estates – including Accredited Specialists in Commercial Law and Wills & Estates Law.

If you find yourself needing assistance in navigating issues with your trustee or executor,  we are here to help. Our experienced lawyers can provide guidance and support to ensure a fair and equitable resolution to your concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact us on 1300 205 506 or email litigation@sharrockpitman.com.au.

If would like to draft or amend an existing will or have a query about a deceased estate in particular, please contact a member of our Wills & Estates team at willsandestates@sharrockpitman.com.au.

 

The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Any legal matters should be discussed specifically with one of our lawyers.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

For further information contact  
Kevin K F Li

Kevin Li is an Associate Lawyer in our Commercial Litigation team. He has an advisory and advocacy practice in the areas of Commercial Litigation, debt recovery, insolvency, liquidation, and shareholder, commercial and contractual disputes. Kevin can be contacted on (03) 8561 3315.

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