You can prevent your trustee from inheriting your will if they have committed crimes. No matter how severe the level of the crime is, it is less likely (if at all) that the trustee inherits from your will.
Here are some crimes that can prevent a trustee from inheriting your will.
1. Homicide or intentional killing
Trustees who are convicted of intentional and felonious killing cannot inherit from his victim. Based on very obvious principles and moral grounds, a killer should not profit from his crime. If the killer, however, has already an interest in the property before the killing can still receive the property.
The killing must be willful and felonious – not one that is by accident. If it is an involuntary manslaughter or killing or was adjudged insane at that point in time, then the trustee can still inherit from his victim. Self-defence is not a bar to inheritance, so to speak.
In case you are wondering if mercy killings and assisted suicides are considered intentional killing and felonious, it is. As long as the person explicitly kills someone, they will not be able to inherit from the will.
People often think that the killer can still inherit from his victim. Consequently, due to the nature and intention of the killing, the killer will automatically be barred from getting anything from the victim’s estate.
2. Abandonment or Abuse
Trustees cannot inherit from wills if they have a background of abuse or abandonment. As long as they have abandoned a child, a spouse, a parent, or just generally abused them, then the trustee will not be able to inherit from the will. Under this prerogative, the abuser cannot inherit from the victim or the wills he was named beneficiary of.
In some cases, the abuser may appeal and provide support for the decedent. It can be an expensive process to administer. The court will need to decide who is worthy and who is not.
3. Financial exploitation
The most common form of financial exploitation in wills is stealing inheritance from the will. Usually it is in the form of money or expensive heirlooms. However, when it comes to theft that the trustee is charged with, it must be a crime that comes with life-changing consequences. If the trustee is sued or jailed due to financial exploitation, then you may take these crimes seriously and not grant inheritance to the trustee.
On the other hand, if the trustee steals from the trust, he will also face criminal charges. The litigation will be both civil and criminal matters in court. The beneficiary can and will file a petition to remove the trustee involuntarily and to recover any misappropriated funds.
The trustee can choose to resign voluntarily from their duties as the trustee. This is to possibly avoid any litigation altogether. Most times these sorts of issues are incurred due to some minor misunderstanding or an honest mistake rather than actual theft. In these cases, you may seek the help of an experienced trust litigation lawyer to protect your position as trustee and help you to explain the misunderstandings.
If you need any help with trustee appointments or inheritance will feel free to reach out to us for further assistance. We are more than happy to help you with your inquiries.