What are a trustee’s obligationstothe benefciaryofa trust?

UPDATED: Jul 29, 2011

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What are a trustee’s obligationstothe benefciaryofa trust?

My daughters grandmother left a trust for her when she attended college. The trust was to be handled until that time by her grandfather. So when the semester came up and based on what they were given her, there was still a balance left for her to pay. At that time we contacted the grandfather to see how the money could be applied. At that time he informed us, he invested the money and not much was left. How can he do that if this was a trust for her?

Asked on July 29, 2011 Pennsylvania


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Because trustees are given great latitude on what they can and can not do with the trust funds that they are in charge of and one of the powers that they hold is the ability to invest the funds as they see fit.  However, that does not mean that they can not be held liable for acting, especially if they have dissipated the funds or invested them foolishly.  They have a fiduciary duty to your daughter and it is possible that that was breached.  You are in a very delicate position here in that it is her grandfather.  But you have every right to seek an accounting of his actions.  Seek legal help in your area.  Good luck.

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