Ok folks, here’s one for you:)

Another close family member passed away early in the year:) One trustee is having a very hard time moving forward. I am trying to help the other trustee get trustee number one moving on the estate distribution. Nothing has happened to date... nothing. It is just a whole lot of work looming above everyone’s heads.

They are siblings with T1 holding more of a control position in the relationship. Gets very belligerent if he even feels pushed and has a very skewed sense of how much “work” he does. (I.e., “I’ve been working all day on this” when, in fact, he thought of it for 30 minutes, pulled out paper and pen, then proceeded to drink beer and watch tv.) He is in his 70s and exhibiting beginning signs of dementia, which is making this even worse.

T2 is working to get this done as T2 still works and neither he nor I have time for this. (I currently am part of handling estates or caregiving for 4 different people. I am so burned out on death/dementia, lol.)

T2 is working on boundaries, which is good. But, there is hoarding involved, and we are wondering if this is just going to go on forever if T1 just procrastinates.

Luckily, or not, some of my mother’s things are still in the house (she lived in the house and died unexpectedly last year... while caregiving... some of you may remember my story) and I have to finish getting those out so I can’t be shut out of the house. T1, so far, hasn’t been a problem with that.

Attorney, T2, and I are trying to focus the cleanout effort on getting out what is most important, THEN dealing with throwing out etc. to try to help T1 not feel so overwhelmed with having to decide what to toss.

Then, the house will have to be sold “as is” because it is a wreck. However, T1 thinks everything in it and the house itself will go for lots of $... nope.

Has anyone had experience with this? Is there a way to push things along without a legal forcing of the situation? Trying to preserve relationships, if possible.

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Laws are so different from place to place, but would it be possible for T1 to sign something giving T2 the authority to act alone?
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Maybe you’ve found an answer but if not, here’s my suggestion, the law firm that drew up the Trust would they be neutral in dealing with a trust issues or are they on a retainer paid to them from the Trust currently? If neutral, schedule and appointment for you & T2. If not, find a new attorney who does trust and ask if they also do litigation if need be, and you & T2 set an appointment with new atty.

Take to the appointment the last 2 years of tax assessor statements and take a dz or so photos of the condition of the interior plus exterior of the house this month. I’m guessing that the assessor value is not accurate as it’s based on comps and the comps are either new or renovated homes in the area; so that 400k house is actually more a 250k “as is” Sale. If there has been an appraisal or inspection past 2-4 years take those items as well. If you know or think that T1 is being late or NSF on any “required” on the house - like utilities, taxes, insurance - find documentation on that and make copies of to take to attorney appt as well. Try to do a listing of all accounts related to the house and how they are named. Like exactly how the power bill reads, whether it’s Smith John M, Trust of c/o Jim Smith McCarty or Michael Smith, or it’s just in T1 name.

Find (or call the agent) all the insurances on house, you want the declarations page that shows coverage. Your looking to see if underinsured, which means he has put property at risk. If there’s a peril insurance (flood, windstorm, quake) that house should have but doesn’t as it’s paid off so no mortgage requirement for those types of coverage, get something that shows that. Like if flood insurance would be needed if there was a mortgage, you can google FEMAs NFIP mapping to show zone of property & coverage needed.

What all these things are doing is providing & establishing documentation that T1 is not doing his duty as Trustee. That he needs to be removed as administrator but still can stay as a beneficiary of Trust. The administration taken over by another, like T2 or you or atty. Personally I’d let an atty at the law firm serve as administrator. Less squabbling. Yeah it will cost but if you need to endgame, this will accomplish what’s needed.

If you don't have $, the property has a value and can used as collateral if need be. Also T1 if he’s having dementia so unable to handle his affairs might need for his share to be done as a SNT - special needs trust - which the firm can do. Good luck & try to make time for yourself.
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