A Trustee is a person appointed by a trust to distribute the assets, manage the money within the trust, and do so with a duty owed to the beneficiaries of the trust. Of course, this is a simplification of the entire process, which can be rather complicated. A trustee has a duty to perform in the best interest of the beneficiaries when dealing with the trusts’ assets. If you believe the trustee is not acting in the beneficiaries’ best interest, you need to challenge the trustee.
Standard of Care
Trustees have a duty to administer the trust at the same standard of care as their own financial accounts. If they make risky investments, negligently handle money, or mishandle funds, they can be liable. Having a duty of loyalty in the court of law is no joke. Trustees need always to put the beneficiaries first when making decisions about the trust.
Reasons to Challenge a Trustee
There are many reasons that you may have that warrant a challenge of a trustee. If you notice any of the following, you need to talk with an experienced estate attorney who can assist you:
- Poor investment performance
- Excessive trustee fees
- Lack of communication with beneficiaries
- Unorganized accounting of trust
These may be signs that your trustee is not managing the trust correctly and needs to be challenged.
How to Challenge a Trustee
Challenging a trustee can be a long and complicated process. It is important that you have an attorney on your side to assist you in determining the best way to approach your particular situation. The first step is examining all the pertinent documents regarding the trust, request a full accounting of the trust, and then file a dispute in court. An attorney will be able to help you navigate the legal system to ensure you as a beneficiary are being properly taken care of.
Also published on Medium.