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My elderly mom needs help. Only gets interest which is so bad a month. Bank as trustees never help her. they have discretionary power. But never petition the court we have to . Then they say (trustee) we do what the court says. I say you are the trustees with discretionary power cant you do more to help my mother through the court. They refuse and in turns into a major fiasco to go to court. Trustees lawyers get paid through moms trust as does the court, but mom needs to pay out of her own pocket for a lawyer to defend herself. Something is very wrong here. Shouldn't the trustees try a little harder to be nice. She has health needs.

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Correction: I miswrote when I addressed the issue of whether the Settlor is still living. According to some brief research I did, a testamentary trust doesn't become operative until the Settlor (maker of the trust) dies.

Since this trust is in fact operative, I should have assumed that the Settlor has died.

I apologize for this error and any resulting confusion.

And it's another reason I think this question calls for an expert answer, and then a consultation with an estate planning or elder law attorney, who can review the trust documentation and provide a more specific response to your very legitimate questions.

Also, last sentence of the 6th paragraph should be concluded as:

"trustees are not providing adequate decisions, action, or some representation."
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First, as to your post title: An irrevocable trust if properly prepared is stated as that in the title of the trust, which would be in a position of title on the first page as well as in the opening paragraph.

Second, who created the trust for the benefit of your mother? Is that person still alive? If so, I believe, and this is JUST based on a limited knowledge of testamentary trusts, that that person can have an attorney prepare an amended trust to change the trustee from the bank to someone the settlor (maker of the trust) designates.

If the person who created the trust for your mother is deceased, I honestly don't know what options would be available if a successor isn't identified.

Third, the bank trustees may in fact be performing in accordance with their duties, which are set forth in the trust. They may have been asked to go beyond their designated authority when you petition the court for some kind of redress b/c you're dissatisfied with their response and actions, or lack thereof.

It's not clear to me what kind of issues need to be taken to court; there are a lot more details that are necessary to really understand the gist of your complaint.

But it's my understanding that a probate court does provide a certain level of supervision when the trust is a testamentary one. The question is what issues are being taken to court for action and decision, and whether they're ones that are innate to a testamentary trust or issues on which the trustees are not providing adequate

I think the best course of action is to first check the trust to determine if it's irrevocable, and if it's not, and if the individual who created the trust is alive or has designated a successor, find a good elder law attorney who can amend the trust.

If you need help in finding an elder law attorney, please post back. In your area, there should be a lot of sophisticated estate planning and elder law attorneys.

Some of the issues of testamentary trusts aren't ones on which I have a lot of knowledge, so I'm close to being out of my league here and don't want to mislead you.

I also think this is a good question to be addressed by one of the legal experts who post periodically.
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