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Trustee wrote checks from trust without beneficiary knowledge

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My dad left me a Special Needs Trust. He left my brother and his girlfriend both regular trusts. I receive disability (SSD), not SSI. I don't know why he set up a SNT. My dad left the girlfriend as Trustee.

I am a fully independent adult (the same as my brother).

A year ago, I hired a worker for my place. In a bizarre twist of things, the girlfriend secretly withdrew $15,000 from my trust and began to write checks from the trust to pay the worker. 

I had no knowledge of this. When it came time for the worker to submit his invoice to me, he told me he had already been paid.

I only met the girlfriend about 10 years ago. She has never paid for anything. I have paid for my own home, utilities, expenses, etc. for my entire life.

I was furious when I discovered this. I do not want to use my trust to pay for odds and ends. Nor, do I want this woman to make any decisions about my money.

When I asked for an explanation, I expected an apology. Instead, she said, "Its my right by law".

I don't know what she meant by this. When I pushed farther, she told me she would not discuss it and stopped speaking to me, cutting me off from my family, holiday events, birthdays, etc. I have no communication at all, including no accounting from the Trust.

Is it even legal for a trustee to use money from my Trust without discussing it with me? What if she decides to use my money for something else she decides is in my best interest?

I have requested an accounting of the Trust as well as all withdrawals. We will see what I get.

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You're going to have to read the trust documents to see what she is authorized to do.

 

You are going to need a lawyer if you want to go after her for anything wrong that she might have done or if you have to remove her and dissolve the trust.

 

Whether it's worth the cost of litigation depends on how much money is still in the trust.

 

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15 hours ago, sd-trainer said:

Is it even legal for a trustee to use money from my Trust without discussing it with me?

 

Generally speaking, the trustee of a trust may exercise whatever authority is given under the applicable state law and the trust instrument without any consultation with the beneficiary(ies).  That said, we obviously have no knowledge regarding the terms of the particular trust of which you are a beneficiary.

 

 

15 hours ago, sd-trainer said:

What if she decides to use my money for something else she decides is in my best interest?

 

Depends on all of the relevant facts, the applicable state law, and the terms of the trust instrument.

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