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Resigning as Trustee questions or ???
Old 03-27-2023, 02:40 PM   #1
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Resigning as Trustee questions or ???

Can I recuse myself from being the trustee if the assets have been distributed with the exception of one beneficiary?

I am the trustee of my later fathers estate. My brother has not cashed the distribution checks in over a year. He was issued a check March 2022. Nine months later I reissued the check as it was no longer valid, (plus distributed an additional 20k) to him 3 months ago. The checks have not been cashed, and I havenít received any communication. The accountant says he wants to get the checks cashed to we can file the final tax form to closed down the trust.

I contacted him again and finally got a response after over a week. He said he was working with a financial adviser. I told him you donít need an adviser to cash a check. He asked what the money for? I told him this was info was all documented in the first packet of materials in March 2022. Then he asked when he gets the IRA money. Really? You have checks waiting to be cashed and now your concerned about the IRA money. I told him I have nothing to do with that and where to call and get the money.

SoÖIím fed up with all this. I cashed my distribution checks and spent hours settling the estate. Iím done. So, can I hand this off to a lawyer? Or send him a notification of resignation? Thereís just a little money left for accounting and legal fees, but I figure heís causing this mess.
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Old 03-27-2023, 02:49 PM   #2
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The lawyer who set up the trust won't advise?

My non-educated guess is it is as much of a pain to "resign" as not.
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Old 03-27-2023, 03:11 PM   #3
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Was the attorney designated as a Trust Protector in the trust documents? We have one so a trustee can be ďfiredĒ if they donít perform. If itís not designated in the trust documents, I imagine it may take a judge.
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Old 03-27-2023, 03:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silvor View Post
Can I recuse myself from being the trustee if the assets have been distributed with the exception of one beneficiary?

I am the trustee of my later fathers estate. My brother has not cashed the distribution checks in over a year. He was issued a check March 2022. Nine months later I reissued the check as it was no longer valid, (plus distributed an additional 20k) to him 3 months ago. The checks have not been cashed, and I haven’t received any communication. The accountant says he wants to get the checks cashed to we can file the final tax form to closed down the trust.

I contacted him again and finally got a response after over a week. He said he was working with a financial adviser. I told him you don’t need an adviser to cash a check. He asked what the money for? I told him this was info was all documented in the first packet of materials in March 2022. Then he asked when he gets the IRA money. Really? You have checks waiting to be cashed and now your concerned about the IRA money. I told him I have nothing to do with that and where to call and get the money.

So…I’m fed up with all this. I cashed my distribution checks and spent hours settling the estate. I’m done. So, can I hand this off to a lawyer? Or send him a notification of resignation? There’s just a little money left for accounting and legal fees, but I figure he’s causing this mess.
What does the trust provide for with respect to trustees and trustee resignations?

If it isn't clear then I'd tell him that cashing those checks that he has is the last remaining piece and that you want to get this done with and if he doesn't cash the checks by March 31 that you intend to resign as the trustee and that since there is no trustee that he will have to petition the probate court to get himself appointed as trustee since he is the last remaining beneficiary and he will have a hrder time getting his money and that you don't give a rats-a$$ that it will make things more troublesome for him since he has been so uncooperative.

I'm not even sure if this is true but even if it isn't then it should light a fire under his lazy tail.
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Old 03-27-2023, 04:26 PM   #5
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To answer the questions some posed above...

The trust is a standard trust for people who probably really don't need one. It's a glorified will if you ask me.

That said, my mother implied to me this was setup so there could only be one trustee (me) and I would make sure there were no issues after they passed. Also, I think she wanted to protect my father from himself. He was great at saving money, but then he'd get these ideas and get into these stupid investments.

So the lawyers who wrote it up, were not helpful at all once they wrote and filed the trust. My grandpas attorney has been handling things as needed. Mind you, neither family had any real money.

There is nothing in the trust about the resignation of trustees. It just says, once both trustees have passed, I am the trustee. If I can't or don't want to be, then my brother is the trustee.

Now, I suppose by me resigning that makes him the trustee? But can it be that easy especially after I made all the distributions?

And yes, I'll talk to the lawyer. But I've found it cheaper than if I go into a meeting with them cold.
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Old 03-27-2023, 05:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by silvor View Post
To answer the questions some posed above...

The trust is a standard trust for people who probably really don't need one. It's a glorified will if you ask me.

That said, my mother implied to me this was setup so there could only be one trustee (me) and I would make sure there were no issues after they passed. Also, I think she wanted to protect my father from himself. He was great at saving money, but then he'd get these ideas and get into these stupid investments.

So the lawyers who wrote it up, were not helpful at all once they wrote and filed the trust. My grandpas attorney has been handling things as needed. Mind you, neither family had any real money.

There is nothing in the trust about the resignation of trustees. It just says, once both trustees have passed, I am the trustee. If I can't or don't want to be, then my brother is the trustee.

Now, I suppose by me resigning that makes him the trustee? But can it be that easy especially after I made all the distributions?

And yes, I'll talk to the lawyer. But I've found it cheaper than if I go into a meeting with them cold.
I'd write him with relevant language from the trust document suggesting that if you resign as trustee that the trust call for him to become the trustee. So he can do it the easy way and a) cash the checks by March 31 or he can do it the hard way and b) you will resign as trustee effective April 1st and then ship him a box with all the records for the trust and he will have to take over and wrap up the trust's affairs.

Even if it total BS it might be enough to encourage him to cash the checks so you can be done.
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Old 03-27-2023, 06:11 PM   #7
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I hope this is a solution: Take the money owed him and get a cashier's check and send it to him. That gets the money out of the account and you can close the estate.
If he does not cash the check, it is his problem, not yours.
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Old 03-27-2023, 06:26 PM   #8
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^^^ I like that idea. Just send it certified mail so you'll have proof of delivery and that he signed for it.
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Old 03-27-2023, 06:32 PM   #9
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And the bigger question is why?

I guess he just hates you and wants to make life difficult.

Amazing.
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Old 03-27-2023, 07:23 PM   #10
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The simple answer to your question is "yes".... there is no way they can keep you as a trustee if you do not want to be one...


The next question is who would take over?


As for closing the estate or trust you can do what I did... distribute all the money but this check and have it in an account that does not earn any interest... you will have no income to report going forward so can list the tax return as final...
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Old 03-27-2023, 08:40 PM   #11
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As far as the certified mail, I know he won't pick it up. He just won't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
The simple answer to your question is "yes".... there is no way they can keep you as a trustee if you do not want to be one...

The next question is who would take over?

As for closing the estate or trust you can do what I did... distribute all the money but this check and have it in an account that does not earn any interest... you will have no income to report going forward so can list the tax return as final...
Don't know if this matters, but the bank account does not pay interest. So I can still close the estate/trust? Even if there's still money in the account? Hmmmm.
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Old 03-27-2023, 08:51 PM   #12
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Don't know if this matters, but the bank account does not pay interest. So I can still close the estate/trust? Even if there's still money in the account? Hmmmm.
If there are funds in the name of the trust, I don't believe you can close it.

It's too bad you don't have the bank and account number belonging to your brother. Maybe you could push a transfer to it.
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Old 03-28-2023, 06:05 AM   #13
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If there are funds in the name of the trust, I don't believe you can close it.

It's too bad you don't have the bank and account number belonging to your brother. Maybe you could push a transfer to it.
But if he had a certified bank check issued for the account balance then there would not be any funds in the name of the trust since the account balance is reduced for the amount of the check when it is issued rather than when the check is cashed.
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Old 03-28-2023, 06:26 AM   #14
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But if he had a certified bank check issued for the account balance then there would not be any funds in the name of the trust since the account balance is reduced for the amount of the check when it is issued rather than when the check is cashed.
If that option were used, sure. But the OP asked "So I can still close the estate/trust? Even if there's still money in the account?" That's the part I was answering to.

I re-read the section on the IRA. That could be another potential nightmare if the brother does not transfer the money out into his own inherited IRA (or cash it completely out). I assume the IRA was set up to name specific individuals as beneficiaries. If the trust is the beneficiary of the IRA, heaven help the OP.
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Old 03-28-2023, 07:29 AM   #15
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If that option were used, sure. But the OP asked "So I can still close the estate/trust? Even if there's still money in the account?" That's the part I was answering to.

I re-read the section on the IRA. That could be another potential nightmare if the brother does not transfer the money out into his own inherited IRA (or cash it completely out). I assume the IRA was set up to name specific individuals as beneficiaries. If the trust is the beneficiary of the IRA, heaven help the OP.
Trust is not the beneficiary of thevIRAs.
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Old 03-28-2023, 07:36 AM   #16
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Does he live too far to hand deliver a cashier's check? Or would he not even answer the door for you?

I don't believe there is an expiration on cashier's checks so you could just make out one for his name and tell him it's waiting for him to accept it.
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Old 03-28-2023, 08:19 AM   #17
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Or send it FedEx or UPS or some other form where there would be evidence that it was delivered... if he fails to open it then not your problem.
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Old 03-28-2023, 09:28 AM   #18
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I would cancel any active checks and issue a certified cashier's check for any remaining amount due to him, minus any costs to obtain certified proof of delivery. Your job is complete. Any question about not cashing it is between him and the bank, not you. Close out the trust. WRT the IRA, it is up to him to deal with the holder of your father's IRAs, not you.
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Old 03-28-2023, 10:13 AM   #19
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I wonder if you can you turn it over to the state as unclaimed property?
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Old 03-28-2023, 10:16 AM   #20
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I wonder if you can you turn it over to the state as unclaimed property?
Actually, if a certified cashier's check is sent and not cashed after a period of time, that's likely where it would end up.
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