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When can interested parties to a trust file a court petition?

Last week, this blog discussed the ability of a trustee to file a petition with a court when certain circumstances are present. These circumstances are set out by a Minnesota statute.

However, the statute also allows other persons beside a trustee to seek a court order involving a trust. A beneficiary or another person interested in the trust is given the authority under the statute to file a petition with the court.

There are a number of circumstances in which a beneficiary or other interested person might seek the court's involvement. For example, if there are issues with the trustee of the trust, the interested parties can seek to remove the trustee. The trustee may have committed a breach of the trust, for instance, or the trustee may be unwilling or unfit to administer the trust, either of which would provide cause to remove the trustee.

There could also be a lack of cooperation among cotrustees, such that the court's involvement becomes necessary to resolve the dispute. In other circumstances, all of the beneficiaries to the trust may request removal of the trustee.

Aside from issues with the trustee, there may also be issues with the terms of the trust that interested persons may want the court to address. Many of these issues were addressed last week, such as the court's ability to enter an order determining certain disputed terms of the trust or relating to the rights of interested parties. Accordingly, whether it be through a trustee's petition or the petition of an interested party, there are numerous circumstances in which a court can become involved in the administration of a trust.

Source: The Office of the Revisor of Statutes, "2014 Minnesota Statutes," accessed on Mar. 7, 2015

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