If you are a beneficiary to a trust, you have a legal right to expect that you receive the assets according to the trust instrument. If the person who left you the trust is no longer living, tensions may run high with the trustee. Perhaps you are concerned about what they are doing, or you might wonder if the trustee is in breach of fiduciary duty.
If you are in this situation, what should you do? The California Probate Code sections on trusts is extremely complicated and may leave you with many questions about your trust. For example, how can you determine if there is illegal or unethical behavior happening?
While there is no set way to determine if a trustee is mishandling the assets you are entitled to, there may be some visible signs, including:
If you have good reason to believe your trustee is in breach of their duty, the first step is to call a lawyer. A potential next step could be an order to comply and possibly request the removal of the trustee. The most important thing you can do is to protect your financial interests. Even if the trustee is a family friend or someone you care deeply about, you need to protect yourself, your assets and your future.