Trustee Disputes

Elizabethtown Estate Litigation Attorneys

Trust administration is the practice of managing trust assets held within a trust. The person in charge of managing a trust is the trustee; this individual is designated by the trust maker or the creator of the trust and is held to the highest standards in the managing of the trust assets. The trustee acts in a fiduciary capacity, which means that he or she cannot place their own interests above the duties of the trustee, and the trustee may not profit from his or her position.

The particular duties entrusted in any one trustee will depend on the nature of the trust and the intentions of the creator. Some of the responsibilities of a trustee may include:

  • Securing and safeguarding assets such as rental properties
  • Contacting creditors
  • Paying debts
  • Providing accountings and reports to the beneficiaries
  • Remain in compliance with tax laws
  • Make prudent investments (investments cannot be risky)
  • Ensure that trust assets are productive
  • Set limits on trust assets and sometimes say "no"
  • Track all income, distributions from, and expenditures by the trust

When there is a Dispute Over a Trustee's Actions

When an individual is appointed as the trustee of a trust, the trust creator has placed a great deal of trust and confidence in the trustee. However, trust administration is a large responsibility that cannot be abused or neglected.

Regardless of the trustee's functions, or that he or she delegates to professionals, the trustee is responsible for monitoring the conduct of these agents while keeping their own obligation to safeguard the beneficiaries' interests. Whenever a trustee acts in their own interests or uses trust assets for their own benefit, or misappropriates funds, or losses trust assets to risky investments, the trustee has broken their fiduciary duty and can be held personally accountable for any harm done to the estate.

A trustee must exercise the greatest degree of care, skill and caution in the execution of their duties. The trustee's personal deficiencies will not reduce the amount of skill required when it comes to exercising the same level of caution that any reasonably prudent person would exercise when dealing with their own property.

Whether you are a trustee facing litigation or if you are a beneficiary who believes that a trustee has breached their fiduciary duty, an Elizabethtown estate litigation attorney from Cooper & Cooper Law Offices can provide you with the aggressive legal representation you need during this time. Contact us today for a consultation at (270) 767-6098.

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