A trustee is an important person who has a great deal of responsibility assigned to them in the management and administration of a trust. Unfortunately, suing the trustee of a trust can happen, and it can put the trustee as well as beneficiaries in a very difficult situation.
Proactive trust planning can help to minimize the possibility of dealing with problems associated with suing the trustee of a trust. It is important to decide who you will install in this role, since they will need to communicate effectively with all beneficiaries on the trust, comply with all the terms of the trust and adhere to the law.
Although plenty of trustees work efficiently and diligently to carry out all of their tasks and will treat every beneficiary equally and fairly, this is not always the case. In some situations, when a trustee crosses the line, they can be held personally accountable and removed from their role. Trustees can be sued both as the trustee of a trust and in a personal capacity.
Any trustee can be sued personally for improper or illegal administration of the trust, and minors can sue trustees so long as an adult files the lawsuit on their behalf. Common causes of action for lawsuits against trustees include self-interest fraud, conflict of interest and embezzlement.
Lawsuits against trustees are typically brought in probate court and can impact the overall value of assets inside the trust as these funds will need to be used to handle the legal claim. Be proactive in your trust planning by choosing the right person to serve in this role and in minimizing the possibility of problems. Schedule a time to meet with an experienced attorney today.