We want the professionals serving us to aspire to and act consistent with the highest ethics and standards of their profession. Doctors should “first do no harm,” lawyers need to be honest with their clients, themselves, courts and juries, and trustees who manage trust assets must be honest and loyal in their administration.
When trustees are not honest and loyal in administering a trust, they can be held liable to the trust for breaching their fiduciary obligations to the trust. California probate courts regularly address such fiduciary breaches in accounting and removal petitions brought by aggrieved beneficiaries against sitting trustees.
So what are some examples of fiduciary breaches? Trustee self-dealing; preparing false documents; failure to accurately account for expenses and income in the trust; failure to maintain written records of actions as a trustee; improper use of trust assets to make loans to business associates or friends; failure to maintain trust assets; failure to charge rent to tenants living in trust owned residences; and failure to fund a trust. These are only examples. Given the high number of trust dispute cases that our law firm is litigating, it wouldn’t take all that long to come up with a list of another hundred examples. Suffice it to say that every trust accounting and removal case is fact-specific. The law is relatively clear – the issue is applying the law to the facts.
Hackard Law represents clients in trust, estate, and elder financial abuse litigation in most of the large urban areas in California including Los Angeles, Alameda, Sacramento, Santa Clara, and Contra Costa counties. If your beneficiary rights have been violated by a bad trustee, you can call us today at 916-313-3030. We’ll be glad to listen to your story and see how we can best help you.