Trustees owe a certain level of care and responsibility to trust beneficiaries. There are many different classifications of the type of “duty” that is owed to beneficiaries. Since discussing each of these in depth would take a lot more space than we have for today’s topic, I will some of the key responsibilities in very general terms.
First and foremost, a trustee should never misappropriate trust monies (aka stealing money from the trust). Trusts are set up in many different ways but typically they have beneficiaries designated to receive certain funds, for specific purposes, at specified times. It is the trustee’s job to make sure the monies are handed over to the beneficiaries in accordance with all the ground rules laid out in the trust documents.
So if a trustee starts to deviate from the ground rules laid out in the trust they have most likely breached their duty or duties to the beneficiaries. If you feel this has happened or is happening to you it is important to act quickly in order to avoid any further harm. If you do not have a copy of the trust documents it is vital step to request a copy from whomever has been enlisted with the responsibility of keeping it (usually the trustee). The trust document is crucial in determining if a trustee has breached any duties because every trust is different, and some trusts allow things that others do not. Without knowing the ground rules it is nearly impossible to determine if there has been any deviation from them by the trustee.
Once you have a copy of the trust documents the next step in attempting to correct any wrong doings is to contact a qualified law firm that can review the facts specific to your situation. The firm will be able to review the documents, tell you what rights you have as a beneficiary, and guide you through the process in determining the appropriate remedies that may be necessary to right any wrongs.
Disclaimer: The information above is provided for general information only and should not be considered legal advice. Our probate lawyers provide legal advice to our clients after talking about the specific circumstances of the client’s situation. Our law firm cannot give you legal advice unless we understand your situation by talking with you. Please contact our law office to receive specific information about your situation.