Breach of Fiduciary Duty: A Beneficiaries Guide
As a trust beneficiary, you have certain rights and legal expectations regarding a trustee’s actions. One of the most critical responsibilities of a trustee is to act in your best interest and manage the trust assets prudently.
However, sometimes, a trustee may fail to fulfill this duty and breach their fiduciary duty. This article will discuss what constitutes a breach of fiduciary duty and what your next steps are.
What Is a Fiduciary Duty?
A fiduciary duty is a legal duty that requires a trustee to act in the best interest of the beneficiaries. It means the trustee must prioritize the beneficiaries’ interests over their own and always act in good faith.
A trustee has various responsibilities, such as:
- Managing the trust assets
- Making investment decisions
- Distributing trust income
- Keeping accurate records
By law, this individual must carry out these tasks carefully, diligently, and skillfully.
What Constitutes a Breach of Fiduciary Duty?
A breach of fiduciary duty occurs when a trustee fails to fulfill their legal obligation and acts contrary to the beneficiaries’ best interests.
Breach of fiduciary duty examples include:
- Self-dealing: When a trustee uses trust assets for their benefit or engages in a transaction that benefits them at the expense of the beneficiaries.
- Mismanagement of trust assets: When a trustee fails to manage trust assets prudently, resulting in a loss or a decrease in the value of the trust.
- Conflict of interest: When a trustee has a personal interest that conflicts with the beneficiaries’ interest.
- Failure to make timely distributions: When a trustee fails to distribute trust income or assets to the beneficiaries as the trust requires.
What Are Your Next Steps?
If you believe that a trustee has breached their fiduciary duty, you should take the following steps:
Review the trust document
Be sure you have thoroughly read and understood the trust document, including the trustee’s duties and responsibilities.
Collect any evidence that supports your claim of a breach of fiduciary duty, such as:
- Financial statements
- Investment reports
- Communication with the trustee
Consult an attorney
Talk to the attorneys at KTF Law Firm. We specialize in trust law and can help you understand your legal rights and options.
File a lawsuit
After a free consultation, if you and our attorneys strongly believe the trustee has breached their fiduciary duty, we will help you file a lawsuit against the trustee.
Get the Legal Support You Need
A breach of fiduciary duty is a serious matter that can have significant consequences for the beneficiaries of a trust.
If you have reason to believe that a trustee has violated their legal responsibility to act in your best interest, it’s crucial to act quickly.
Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation. We can guide you through the process and ensure that the wishes of the trust’s creator are respected and followed.