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By: Scott Grossman on June 18th, 2018

Breach of Fiduciary Duty in Probate: Action you can take

Breach of Fiduciary Duty in Probate

The failure to act solely in the party’s interests when a duty is owed. A breach of fiduciary duty in probate occurs when a trustee engages in activities that benefit only the trustee. This typically occurs when the trustee has no regard for the beneficiaries.

With the recent decision of the California Supreme Court in the case involving the Estate of Giraldin, beneficiaries now have even greater rights against trustees. That court decision makes it possible for beneficiaries to sue trustees for breaching a fiduciary duty during the time that the settlor was still alive. As long as the act constituted a breach against the settlor, the beneficiary can pursue an action.

What should I do if I suspect a trustee breached a fiduciary duty while the settlor was still alive?

Beneficiaries shouldn’t hesitate to consult with an attorney if they suspect prior incidents of breach of fiduciary duty in probate. In addition, you can consider taking the following steps:

  • First of all, obtain copies of the trust and all amendments.
  • Additionally, gather any documentation that supports the alleged breach by the trustee.
  • Furthermore, request information about all trust assets.
  • In conclusion, request copies of trust accountings.

This information will assist your attorney in evaluating whether the trustee committed a breach, as well as whether you may have the standing to bring an action.

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.