What are my options if I have reason to believe that a trustee stole from the estate?

The trustee of a trust has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the estate and beneficiaries. As a result, the trust cannot intentionally harm the estate or the beneficiaries. Clearly, if the trustee is stealing from the estate, he or she is breaching fiduciary duty. 

If you suspect a California trustee theft, you have several options, including:

  • Immediately contact an experienced Riverside trust lawyer for guidance.
  • Request an accounting of the trust funds from the trustee.
  • Document the theft by keeping accurate and detailed records pertaining to trust property and trustee actions.
  • Report the trustee to the court, but understand that if the complaint is brought wrongfully, the court may assess court costs against the wrongfully complaining beneficiary.
  • File a petition with the court to compel the trustee to comply with the terms of the trust.
  • File a petition for an accounting with the court.
  • Hire an independent party to conduct a review of the actions taken by the trustee and the trust accounting.
  • File an objection with the court alleging that the trustee is breaching his or her fiduciary duties by stealing from the estate.
  • File a civil claim for conversion.
  • File a petition with the court to compel the trustee to produce a copy of the trust document.
  • Seek removal of the trustee under the California probate code or the terms of the trust.

Since claims against the trustee may be subject to a statute of limitations, it is important that you act quickly. To learn more, contact an experienced Riverside trust attorney toll free at (888) 443-6590.

Scott Grossman

Scott Grossman


The Grossman Law Firm, APC · 525 B Street, Suite 1500, San Diego, CA 92101 · (951) 523-8307