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By: Scott Grossman on June 18th, 2018

Abusing Trust Funds: Which option should I pursue for protection?

Understanding what the right step is when you suspect that the trustee of a California trust is abusing trust funds requires the guidance of an experienced probate court attorney. Trust litigation often can take several months, even years. When you are concerned that the trustee of a California trust is possibly abusing trust funds, you must act quickly. The more time that goes by without court intervention, the higher the risk that your inheritance is put jeopardy. Fortunately, there are several protections that may be available to you. These may include a Petition for Instructions and Blocked Accounts, a Petition to Suspend the Trustee, and a petition requesting that a Trustee be bonded.

The following is an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of these various methods when you suspect a trustee of Abusing Trust Funds:

  • A blocked account freezes the trust’s assets. Therefore, it does not allow the trustee to access the funds without prior court approval.
  • Unfortunately, you will need a compelling reason in order for the court to grant your request.
  • A trustee suspension allows you to temporarily suspend the trustee. The court then appoints a neutral third party to act as trustee until the action for removal goes to trial.
  • Unfortunately, a trustee suspension is not always easy to obtain from the court.
  • A trustee bond provides a safeguard in the event that harm occurs to the trust assets. While trust assets are not frozen, the bonding company will pay for the wrongful acts of the trustee.
  • The downside of a bond is that you will have to prove that the trustee committed a breach of fiduciary duties before the bond company must pay anything.

To learn more about the right options for your legal matter, contact an experienced probate litigation lawyer today.

  • Litigation (noun): Litigation is the act or process of bringing a lawsuit to enforce a particular right. This can include Will contests, Trust Litigations, and Probate Litigation.
  • Petition (noun): A formal written request made to a Court in order to ask for some type of relief. It can be made for many things, anything that someone is asking the Court to do can have some type of Petition filed. An example is a Petition to Probate a Will, this is usually submitted with the will to the Court to request the Executor be given the formal power to carry out the Will.

If you are ready to start your case, then please give us a call or fill out our Get Help Now form. A comprehensive overview of California Probate is available here. Should you have additional questions about trust litigation, you will find plenty of useful information in our Learning Center.