Trustees can often face legal challenges, such as misappropriation of trust funds, allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, or allegations of mismanagement. In these situations if you are a trustee, you need to protect yourself by hiring a Texas trust litigation lawyer immediately.
If you don’t reach out to a trust litigation lawyer in Texas, you may find yourself facing personal liability for actions taken on the part of the trust. Beneficiaries can raise legal claims against trustees that can lead to significant disputes and time and financial costs associated with responding to them. In these circumstances it is beneficial to have the support of an experienced lawyer as soon as possible on your side to guide you through this process.
The sooner you engage with an attorney the easier the entire process.
You may also wish to reach out to a Texas trust litigation attorney because you are a beneficiary who believes that a trustee has already breached their fiduciary duty. Breach of trust covers any kind of negligent, intentional, erroneous, self-serving or retaliatory conduct was carried out by the trustee of a trust that ultimately led to harm to beneficiaries or reduction of trust assets.
This can include unintentional as well as intentional actions, all of which can become the basis of a trust litigation suit. There are many different duties associated with trustees under the law and failing to adhere to any one of these can give a beneficiary grounds to file a lawsuit.
Understanding Breach of Trust
A trustee has a duty to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries as well as the trust itself. This is because they were nominated by the person who created this trust to manage the assets inside. A popular example of trustee negligence is when a trustee fails to make appropriate distributions to beneficiaries. Further claims can include things, such as failing to protect assets from losses, failing to invest trust assets appropriately, not insuring trust assets or failing to follow trust terms.
Any of these circumstances can be brought forward by a beneficiary of a trust to argue that the trustee should be removed and be held legally responsible. The basic duties and responsibilities of a trustee include:
- Taking steps to ensure that claims against trust property are properly enforced.
- Taking steps to defend any actions brought about that could lead to a trust loss.
- Not using the trust for their own personal benefit.
- Keeping their personal property separate from the property of the trust.
- Treating all beneficiaries of that trust as impartially and fairly as possible.
- Administering the trust as it is stated in the terms.
- Acting in the best interests of beneficiaries of the trust.
A trust litigation attorney should be sought as soon as possible by beneficiaries who believe that a trustee has already violated their rights or the terms of the trust. The sooner you can speak out to a lawyer the easier it will be to figure out how to proceed. Generally, the trust will pay the legal fees when a trustee is accused of breach of trust, so it is important that you are very clear about the evidence supporting your legal claim.
There are a number of different reasons why you might wish to bring a claim against a trustee including when you believe that they are stealing or embezzling trust assets, when they are subjecting trust assets to unnecessary risk, when they are co-mingling their personal funds with trust funds, when they are personally benefitting through forgery, fraud or coercion by managing the trust, when they are not complying with the trust’s investing, accounting or distribution directives as outlined by the creator or when this trustee is no longer of sound mind or appropriate capacity to make these decisions.
In all of these circumstances, you cannot afford to wait to get help and you need to consult with an experienced trust litigation lawyer as soon as possible.