What Happens when a Trustee Becomes Incapacitated?
If a person sets up a trust and she becomes incapable as a result of Alzheimer’s disease, is it possible that her three sons, who are the trustee and beneficiaries after her death, can take control over the trust?
The answer is yes; but the next question is “How?” Most trusts have provisions for successor trustees in the event the first trustee becomes incapacitated or dies, either naming particular individuals, or setting up a mechanism for removing the first trustee and naming her replacement. You’ll have to see what, if anything, her trust says. If it doesn’t address this situation, the sons would have to go to court to gain access to the trust in the event of her incapacity—but that would be a badly written trust. The trust should also include standards and a system for determining whether a trustee has become incapacitated.