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By: Scott Grossman on March 8th, 2020

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 the 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 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.

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.

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