Back to the Learning Center

By: Scott Grossman on August 28th, 2016

Five Costs A Trustee Could Be Liable For Following A Surcharge Action


In the majority of cases, trustees of California trusts fulfill their duties responsibly and in accordance with the law. These duties are outlined in the terms of the trust itself as well as in the California Probate Code. Unfortunately, there are instances where a trustee’s negligence results in loss of trust property. Beneficiaries of trusts that have been harmed as a result of a trustee’s negligence have several options. One such option is to pursue a surcharge from the trustee. This means that the trustee is personally responsible for making the trust whole as a result of his or her error, failure, or misappropriation of trust funds while serving as trustee.

In order to obtain a surcharge from a dishonest or neglectful trustee, a beneficiary should consult with an attorney to file a claim. Beneficiaries can file a petition for surcharge with the San Diego Probate Court to request that the trustee be held personally liable for:

  1. Trust funds that the trustee lost due to negligence
  2. Trust funds that were stolen by the trustee or lost due to the trustee’s negligence
  3. Trust funds that were misallocated by the trustee
  4. Any other fees, expenses, or expenditures made from trust funds by the trustee
  5. Interest based on the amount of appreciation that would have accrued if the trustee had not breached his or her fiduciary duty

Filing a petition for surcharge in San Diego requires the knowledge and experience of a legal professional who has handled cases like these before. To learn more about fiduciary surcharge claims in California, view our article, “Fiduciary Surcharge Can Be Ordered Against Trustees.”

We encourage you to share this information with your friends and family on Facebook! Someone you love may be struggling with a dishonest trustee and seeking information. Fortunately, the Grossman Law Firm can help.

Related Links:

Trustees Sometimes Stall When The Time Comes To Distribute An Inheritance

The Grossman Law Firm, APC (951) 523-8307