What can be done if the trustee to the Trust that I am a beneficiary to has not sold estate assets for the highest value offered?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can be done if the trustee to the Trust that I am a beneficiary to has not sold estate assets for the highest value offered?

She has sold them to her son for less than the true value and ignored higher bids on the property (house) and other large items. Shouldn’t she have to accept the highest bid?

Asked on December 25, 2015 under Estate Planning, Maine


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

A Trustee is legally obligated to use their best reasonable effort to meet the terms of the Trust as stated in the Will or Trust document. If a trustee doesn’t perform their duties as stated (i.e. if they act in a way that is disloyal or negligent), it constitutes an abuse of their position and they are considered to be in "breach of fiduciary duty". This is a legal abuse of authority and accordingly, the Trustee can be held personally liable for any losses to the estate that their actions may cause, as well as face removal from their position. 
In this instance, the Trustee's apparent acts of self-dealing and impartiality may well give rise to a legal claim. At this point you need to consult with an attorney who specializes in these type cases. They can go over all details of your situation and advise you further.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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