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By: Scott Grossman on June 18th, 2018

What to Do When a Trustee Won’t Sell a Trust Asset

As the beneficiary of a trust, there may be situations where you feel concerned as to whether your interests in the trust are being properly protected. One of this instances may occur if a trustee fails to sell a trust asset. It is an obligation of the trustee of the trust to manage and protect the trust’s assets. It is also his or her obligation  to ensure that the assets are productive. If the trustee of a trust is not pursuing the sale of an asset with reasonable diligence and its value is being reduced as a result, it is important to act quickly in order to minimize the potential for harm.

Five Steps to Take When a Trustee Won’t Sell a Trust Asset

What should beneficiaries do when a trustee fails to sell an asset within a reasonable timeframe? Consider taking the following actions:

  1. Consult with an experienced trust litigation attorney. Deciding whether or not to pursue legal action with regard to a trust matter is not always an easy process. It is important to seek guidance from a knowledgeable professional.
  2. Carefully review the terms of the trust relating to the asset in question. Is the trustee directed to sell the asset, or given the discretion to do so?
  3. Continue reviewing the terms of the trust. Doing so will help you determine whether the trustee powers include the ability to sell a trust asset.
  4. Consider involving the probate court with the trust administration process. Typically, the court is not involved with a trust administration unless there is a dispute among the parties or confusion over the meaning of a trust provision. If a trustee is failing to sell a trust asset and it is creating harm, consider involving the court.
  5. Evaluate whether or not to pursue more aggressive action against a trustee if you suspect that the trustee is breaching a duty. This may include an action to have the trustee removed and replaced.

It is important to remember that any time wasted in not protecting your rights as a beneficiary could result in irreparable harm to your share of the trust property. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to act quickly and contact our office today.

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