What if a trustee fails in their fiduciary duty to the trust?

As the name implies, a trustee occupies a position of implicit trust. Someone has given the trustee authority over the financial and legal decisions for substantial assets, potentially including real estate and investment accounts or an entire personal estate.

Sadly, not everyone who assumes the role of trustee will be able to live up to the obligations that come with the role of administering a trust. Some trustees simply don’t have the time or self-control to adequately manage a trust, while others may be perfectly capable of doing so, but instead, choose to make decisions that benefit them instead of the beneficiaries of the trust.

A trustee has a fiduciary duty both to the individual who created the trust and the beneficiaries of the trust. The trustee should put those duties ahead of any personal gain. Failure to do so or failure to act in the best interest of the trust violates that fiduciary duty at leaves the trustee’s position open to a challenge.

Has the trustee diminished the value of the trust or benefited personally?

The easiest way to establish that the trustee violated their fiduciary duty is to demonstrate that they made decisions that diminish the overall value of the estate. If those same decisions benefited them personally, that can further strengthen a case that the trustee is putting their own best interests ahead of the interests of the trust and its beneficiaries.

Proving intent isn’t necessarily easy, so sometimes the best course of action when a trustee mismanages a trust is not to claim they do so intentionally but through a failure of organization or understanding.

Regardless of the reason why, if the trustee has taken steps that reduce the assets funding the trust and negatively impact the beneficiaries, that problem alone may prompt the Florida probate court to consider removing the trustee and placing someone else in that critical administrative role.

Archives

We Can Tailor A Solution To Meet Your Needs.


  • Fields marked with an * are required
  • Disclaimer | Privacy Policy
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

  • Fields marked with an * are required
  • Disclaimer | Privacy Policy
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.