Many trusts are operating in California, and these are designed to oversee a massive amount of assets in a variety of ways. Trustees are the people who hold legal responsibility for managing trusts. Most trustees manage these trusts with diligence and propriety. Unfortunately, some trustees either make errors or are acting with deliberate malfeasance, and you may need to weigh your legal options if you find your trust is being mismanaged.
Trust litigation is often complicated, and it’s not always clear what your rights may be as a beneficiary. It is possible to sue a trustee, but only under the right circumstances.
When can you sue a trustee?
You’re able to sue a trustee if that trustee is violating some aspect of the trust arrangement. Violations can take the form of misappropriating assets or funds in the trust, whether for the trustee’s benefit or for some purpose not stipulated in the trust arrangement.
You can also sue a trustee if the trustee is making demonstrably poor decisions with the trust’s assets, like risky or poor investments. Lying to or misleading beneficiaries is also grounds for a lawsuit.
Also, keep in mind that the burden of proof rests with you to demonstrate that the trustee isn’t acting properly. You’ll need a well-documented and detailed case in order to prevail in a trust-related lawsuit.
When is a trustee immune to lawsuits?
If you’ve been disinherited from a trust, you have no grounds for a lawsuit against a trustee. Also, if the trustee is taking a pre-arranged fee from the trust’s assets, this is also protected. Trustees are legally within their rights to accept compensation for their efforts, if this was arranged by the grantor.
If you feel you have been wronged by a trustee, it is in your best interest to consult with a lawyer. The lawyer can advise you of the best steps for you to take to ensure a successful outcome.