People establish trusts to protect their estate and ensure that their heirs and beneficiaries receive the inheritance they want them to. And those trusts are overseen by an appointed representative known as a trustee. The trustee is responsible for overseeing the trust. But sometimes, trustees don’t act in the best interest of the beneficiaries, and you’ll want to work with a California trust litigation attorney to correct the issue.
1. You Believe the Trustee Is Stealing Funds
Trustees have a fiduciary duty to protect the assets held in the trust for the beneficiaries. They should never withdraw assets and use them for themselves. If you suspect that the trustee is using money from the trust to further their own lifestyle or to benefit themselves, speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you do, the easier it may be to recover those assets and ensure that the rest of the trust is safe.
2. You’re Concerned That the Trustee Is Showing Preferential Treatment to a Beneficiary
Trustees are expected to follow the distribution of assets as outlined by the person who opened the trust. If you’ve noticed that they’ve shown preferential treatment to another beneficiary or you know their violating the terms your loved one specified, speak with an attorney as soon as possible. This is especially true if the beneficiary in question is involved in a business relationship or personal friendship with the trustee.
3. The Trustee Won’t Give You Financial Information About the Trust
The trustee is expected to provide the beneficiaries with information about the trust after a loved one dies. This should include details about account balances, investment performance, and a full copy of the trust outlining everything held in the trust. If the trustee refuses or won’t respond to your requests, it’s time to speak with your California trust litigation attorney. Often, involving a lawyer will be enough to get the trustee to respond, but if they’re taking money from the trust or using assets to benefit themselves, you may need to pursue legal action against them.
4. Their Fees Seem Excessive
Trustees charge for their services. This is completely normal, but their fees should be reasonable and justifiable. If the trustee’s fees have dramatically increased without reason or seem wildly out of line with what you know others are paying their trustees, you may want to speak with an attorney. They understand what fees are considered acceptable and can help you decide if it’s worth confronting the trustee about.
Speak With a California Trust Litigation Attorney Today
If you’re worried about the way a trust is being managed or suspect that a trustee is acting against the best interest of the beneficiaries, the best thing you can do is speak with an experienced California trust litigation attorney. At Jackman Law, we believe in helping people plan their estates and assisting their beneficiaries in making sure they receive the inheritance they’re supposed to. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.