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.