Trustee Breaches Their Fiduciary Duties
One of the most common issues we see in trust litigation is a trustee that fails to uphold their fiduciary duties. Every trust is governed by a set of rules. These rules are established by the creator of the trust and are called “trust instruments”. The trustee is responsible for carrying out the terms of the trust and notifying beneficiaries about any changes in the terms of the trust. However, this is not always the case.
When a trustee breaches their fiduciary duties, they have not acted in line with the trust, or have acted in a way to jeopardize it. Some ways a trustee can breach their duties are by refusing to distribute assets correctly, stealing money out of the trust, refusing to give copies of the trust to all beneficiaries, or giving out incomplete copies of the trust If a beneficiary believes that a trustee is acting contrary to these rules, they can file a complaint against them with the court.
The court will appoint an impartial person to investigate this complaint and determine if it has merit. If it is established that the trustee is unfit, the court will remove the trustee from their position and appoint another person who they believe can carry out the role properly and fairly. This begs the question as to who the court will appoint. There are two options the court can take: they can appoint a court-appointed trustee or a successor trustee. A court-appointed trustee is an outside professional party who oversees and executes the trust, while a successor trustee is listed in the trust to assume the role if the primary trustee is unable to or chooses not to execute the trust. A successor trustee is usually a related party to the decedent, most often family or a friend.
If you believe your inheritance is in jeopardy, please reach out to The Inheritance Recovery Attorneys to see what you can do. Our firm offers free consultations and specializes in trust and will litigation. We are here to help you protect your inheritance and make sure your loved one’s wishes are carried out honestly.