When you take the time and effort to create a will or a trust, you want that document to be as complete, accurate and unflawed as possible. Part of this process includes naming a trustee, to disperse your estate after you pass away. A trustee can be an individual, a bank or trust company or a professional fiduciary. This person is also responsible for paying your outstanding debts to creditors, handling funeral expenses and generally tying up the loose ends of your estate.
This means that the trustee is entrusted by you to be honest and forthcoming with your trust finances. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a situation of misuse of trust funds by a trustee to occur. Sadly, the trust does not have to be large for this to happen. Access to money and property sometimes has a way of clouding a person’s judgment, causing greediness to take over.
The good news is that if you suspect that a trustee is not handling their duties properly – or worst case that they are stealing from the estate – you can file an objection in court or even sue them for breach of fiduciary duty. In fact, you do not have to be a named beneficiary in the will or trust to file a complaint to investigative agencies. It is best to specifically document your reasons why you feel the trustee is mishandling the trust assets; the more detailed information you can present about suspicious activities, the better.
If enough evidence is present, the trustee will be investigated and hopefully the beneficiaries will stand to receive everything that is legally due to them.
The Denver estate planning attorneys at Brown & Crona, LLC can help you investigate trustee wrongdoing and help you file petitions with the courts. To learn more or to hire a Denver probate litigation lawyer, please contact us at (303) 339-3750 or send us a message online.