If you are unhappy with how a trustee or personal representative is managing a trust or administering an estate, you are entitled to apply to court to seek their removal and appointment of a replacement.
The court has several legislative powers at its disposal.
For removal of a trustee, an application under section 1 of the Judicial Trustees Act 1986 can be made, although, in reality, applications under the Judicial Trustees Act 1986 are very rare.
Where a trustee is willing to step down and provided there has been no wrongdoing or loss to the trust, this might be done by way of deed. If a protector is appointed under any trust deed, they may have the power to remove a trustee.
If a grant has not been taken out from the Probate Registry, an application can be made under section 116 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 to remove (or “pass over”) a personal representative and to appoint an alternative administrator. An application under section 116 can be made by any interested party, not just beneficiaries and creditors.
If a grant has been taken out of the Probate Registry, a beneficiary will need to apply to the court under section 50 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985 for the removal or replacement of a personal representative.
The procedure for removing a trustee or personal representative is complex, so if you are looking to take this action, please do not hesitate to contact one of our specialists who will be happy to help.
Similarly, if you are a trustee or personal representative being threatened with removal, we can provide you with the necessary legal advice.