Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Law
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Woman looking to take back control of estate from trustee

Assuming the role of trustee over a trust account in Woodland Hills may be an unenviable task. By doing so, one agrees to manage the trust assets of another for the benefit of designated beneficiaries. Of course, those beneficiaries may not always be keen to know that their interest in their trust funds is out of their control. These frustrations may often come to a head when the trustee attempts to block any dispersals that he or she believes may be in violation of the trust's purposes. While beneficiaries (as well as others who may have their own interests in a trust's assets) may not like such a move, it should be remembered that it is only being done in what is believed to be their best interests. 

Such is the message that a former attorney in Hawaii seems to be trying to convey to the beneficiary of the trust he currently manages. The woman, who is Hawaiian royalty, is attempting to resume control of her estate after having suffered a stroke. The attorney was named as the estate's successor trustee after doctors reported that the woman's health issues left her unable to manage her affairs. He says that the woman's longtime partner has repeatedly attempted to secure money from the estate. However, he has agreed to not contest the woman regaining control of her estate if she is found to be competent. 

While it may be true that serving as a trustee may involve becoming unpopular in the eyes of beneficiaries, a trustee should remember that his or her duty is ultimately to fulfill the stated goals of the trust. Those who may need assistance in ensuring that this is done (despite opposition) may wish to ask for it from an experienced attorney. 

Source: Honolulu Civil Beat "The Princess Bride: Hawaiian Heiress Gets Married Amid Legal Dispute" Teague, Courtney, Oct. 02, 2017

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