If I am benificiary of a trust, can I sue the trustee for breach of trust and removal?

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If I am benificiary of a trust, can I sue the trustee for breach of trust and removal?

They have refused to give me a trustee’s report. I also want to sue for failure to follow the prudent man law in trust dealings, co-mingling funds and otherwise putting the interest of the trustee ahead of the beneficiary. I am an advanced cancer patient and am in need of funds from the trust. I have been told that I have been paid out despite not having ever received paperwork to suggest this. My figures are quite different than the trustee’s.

Asked on June 28, 2013 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the trustee for breach of trust and seek removal of the trustee.  Co-mingling of funds constitutes a breach of trust.  The conflict of interest by the trustee would also constitute a breach of trust.

As a beneficiary, your damages (the amount of compensation to be recovered in a lawsuit against the trustee for breach of trust) would be as follows:  Co-mingling of funds would be the loss to the trust.  If the trustee has used the funds for purchases, you can trace the funds to those items and recover the items or their value. 

The conflict of interest on the part of the trustee has resulted in a loss to the trust, monetary compensation would be applicable for that loss to the trust. 

If the trustee has not followed the prudent investor rule, damages (monetary compensation) would be based on lost income to the trust which would have resulted from prudent investments.


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