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. Do you have a reason to believe that a trustee stole from the estate? Well, if the trustee is stealing from the estate, he or she is breaching fiduciary duty.

If you suspect a trustee stole from the estate, you have several options:

  • First of all, 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.
  • Additionally, 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.
  • Furthermore, file a civil claim for conversion.
  • Additionally, 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.

Beneficiary (noun):

A person who benefits from a trust, will, or life insurance policy. This includes heir, heiress, inheritor, legatee; recipient, receiver, payee, donee, assignee; devisee, grantee.

Petition (noun):

A formal written request made to a Court in order to ask for some type of relief. It can be for 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.



Scott Grossman

Scott Grossman


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