Filing a lawsuit against a trustee responsible for administering the terms of a loved one’s trust is a very difficult decision to make and it also might be the necessary step to protect the interests of the trust and the other beneficiaries from being further harmed.
Trustee Liability: What Is It?
Each trustee has what is known as a fiduciary duty to both the trust as well as the beneficiaries of that trust. If it can be shown that the trustee has violated this responsibility, such as by favoring one trust beneficiary over another, self-dealing, stealing money from the trust or other actions, this information can be used to file a lawsuit against the responsible trustee.
That trustee could ultimately be removed from their role in managing the trust and could even be held personally liable for repaying funds that were lost to the trust as a result of their malfeasance.
How Do I Know If I Have a Case?
Speaking with an experienced Utah trust litigation lawyer is often the only way to confirm whether or not you have appropriate grounds to file a lawsuit. It is a serious matter to accuse someone of violating their fiduciary duty so it is recommended that you speak with a Utah trust litigation attorney first to verify whether your interpretation of the facts is accurate with the rights that you maintain. As a trust litigation attorney in Utah might inform you, it can be inflammatory to file a lawsuit but as a beneficiary it might be the only way to protect your inheritance or the assets inside the trust.
What Happens After I File a Suit?
You have likely already attempted to resolve things with the trustee in question on your own and have probably been unsuccessful in doing so which is what led you to hiring an area trust litigation attorney. In these circumstances, the more advocates you can have on your side to provide you insight about what to expect and some of the common pitfalls associated with trust litigation the easier it will be for you to file suit and protect your interests. Most people are not prepared for what trust litigation entails and it can also further drain the assets inside the trust for the trustee to have to defend themselves against these claims. Many misunderstandings between trustees and beneficiaries can be resolved effectively outside of court. Hiring a trust litigation attorney to help you to move that process along can be a good idea and it can also be helpful to have that lawyer already understanding of the case and working with you directly if and when the case does need to be escalated to the next level.
What Does a Trust Litigation Attorney Do?
A trust litigation attorney’s role in the case will depend on the factors at play. Usually an initial consultation will help you and this lawyer to discuss the key concerns in the case and any evidence that you might already have indicating that the trustee is irresponsible. In those circumstances, the lawyer will ask to see this evidence and will discuss with you what it means to file a legal claim. Beneficiaries have a right to know about actions undertaken by a trustee and to receive accountings of what has happened under the trustee’s guidance.
A trustee can be compelled to provide these accountings and if it can be shown that they caused damage to the trust itself, this information could eb used to remove the trustee. As you can see, there’s a lot at stake when you file a trust litigation case. Finding a lawyer who has represented people in this circumstance before is vital.
You need to know what you’re possibly up against and whether you have a claim. That information can be determined by a lawyer.