Trustees are sometimes not trained enough to prepare themselves for the task of being trustees. There is also sometimes a lack of transparency. In extreme cases, this can lead to trust litigation. To avoid these issues and to make sure that your interests are represented when an issue involving a trust blows up, you will need to speak with a trust attorney.
The Fiduciary Duty of the Trustee
A trustee has the responsibility to act on behalf of the beneficiary of the trust. The trustee is not allowed to profit in a manner that hurts the beneficiary. Also, the trustee must not be negligent. For example, the trustee will have an obligation to pay any taxes associated with the trust.
Trustees and Tenants
If a property is a part of a trust, one concern is when the trustee lives on the property or has friends living on the property. The job of the trustee is to make sure that the property is productive, and this will not be the case if the tenants are not paying rent.
Some trustees will make investments without being permitted to do so by the trustee powers of investment. Or, they might take actions based on bribes they have received rather than based on the best interests of the beneficiaries.
When the Trustee Borrows Money
A trustee might choose to borrow money from the trust. Even if the trustee plans to replace the money afterward, borrowing money from a trust is considered to be a bad practice. However, you will need to make sure that the trust does not allow borrowing under some circumstances.
What to Do When You Believe a Trust Is Being Mishandled
You should look for an attorney who can assist you when you believe that a trust is being mishandled. You will need to prove that the trust is being mishandled. You will also need to push for proper recordkeeping and transparency so you can hold the trustee accountable.
Litigation can be very expensive and is also divisive. The best way to handle a case where a trust is being mishandled is to try to find remedies outside of court. Oftentimes, the mishandling of the trust is nothing more than an honest mistake by an overworked trustee. A goodwill land trust law firm will be focused on using litigation in court only when there are no other options.
To learn more, contact a will and trust attorney.