Some trustees cannot be trusted

| Feb 14, 2018 | Blog |

There are several important legal duties for a trustee to follow. A trustee must adhere to the terms of the trust and act in the best interest of the signer and the estate. This person is responsible for making decisions about the estate and administering it according to the wishes of the grantor. Unfortunately, some trustees violate their fiduciary duties.

What happens and a trustee is disloyal? Can you file a lawsuit against a careless or malicious trustee? Read below for all the details you need to know about a trustee breaching his or her fiduciary duty. 

When the trustee is untrustworthy

If a trustee acts in a selfish or disloyal manner, he or she may be committing a breach of fiduciary duty. When a trustee fails to adhere to his or her fiduciary obligations, it is an illegal act. Therefore, an untrustworthy trustee can be legally responsible for his or her failure to act in good faith. 

Signs that a trustee is breaching fiduciary duty

It can be hard to pinpoint exactly when a trustee is acting inappropriately, partially because the trustee does have the privilege to make judgment calls. However, just because the rules are not always crystal clear does not give a trustee the freedom to do whatever he or she pleases. Here are some signs that breaches of duties are taking place:

  • The trustee profits, borrows or otherwise benefits personally from overseeing the trust.
  • The finances of the trustee are connected with the estate, especially if he or she is a family member of the grantor.
  • The trustee fails to prevent another responsible party, such as a co-trustee, from breaching fiduciary duties.

These actions are troubling. If you or another beneficiary senses that a trustee is abusing his or her responsibilities, you can file a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit. As a result, the trustee may be removed from his or her position and ordered to compensate you.