If a family member created a trust for their estate, they may have wanted to limit how you use your inheritance or to protect their property from tax liabilities. The trustee assigned to manage trust assets and distribute them to family members will have a challenging job.
Unfortunately, not everyone who assumes the role of trustee is capable of fulfilling the obligations that come with administering a trust. Others will use their position for personal gain. A trustee has a fiduciary duty to put the beneficiaries of the trust ahead of their own personal wishes.
What can you do if you believe that a trustee has put personal gain ahead of their duty to the trust and its beneficiaries?
You can challenge a trustee in probate court
Fiduciary duty is not just an idea. It is a legal obligation. When someone has a conflict of interests that affects their administration of the trust or when they manage trust assets in a way that benefits them more than the trust’s purpose, beneficiaries may need to go to probate court to challenge the trustee.
If you can show that the trustee breached their fiduciary duties by putting profit or their personal relationships with certain beneficiaries ahead of their responsibilities to the trust, then the probate courts may remove them as the trustee or bar them from performing certain actions in the future.
Although challenging a trustee can strain your relationship with them, it can also protect your inheritance, as well as the assets that the rest of your family expects to inherit. Knowing when to initiate trust litigation because of a breach of fiduciary duty to help you preserve the remainder of your inheritance after someone misuses assets.