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Pay Up! Fiduciary Surcharge Can Be Ordered Against San Diego Trustees

When a fiduciary breaches his or her duty, there are several remedies that a judge can impose in order to protect the beneficiaries of a California trust. One such remedy is referred to as “fiduciary surcharge.” Essentially, any action that makes it necessary to return trust assets to the condition that they were in prior to the breach can result in such a remedy. If you are the beneficiary of a trust and suspect that the trustee is breaching a duty, contact an experienced California trust litigation attorney right away for guidance.

What is a fiduciary surcharge? The following is an overview:

  • A surcharge requires a fiduciary to pay money to the trust or estate.
  • A surcharge often results from items in a trust or estate accounting.
  • A surcharge can be based on fees, expenses, or expenditures that are disallowed by the court or that were improperly made.
  • A surcharge can also result from financial losses.
  • If the trustee or other fiduciary has no direct interest in the trust property, he or she will have to pay the surcharge with personal funds. This can amount to more than the trustee is given as compensation for serving as fiduciary.
  • Beneficiaries can request interest as part of the surcharge based upon appreciation that would have otherwise accrued.

A surcharge is one of several available options that beneficiaries can pursue when the trustee of a trust breaches his or her duty. If you are unsure of what constitutes a breach of trust in California or what steps to take when a breach occurs, our article, “San Diego Breach of Trust: What It Is and What to Do Next,” provides a helpful overview. For additional information about the process of protecting your rights as a beneficiary, view our free book, Trust and Will Litigation in California. Contact an experienced San Diego trust litigation attorney at the Grossman Law Firm today for further guidance. Call our office 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

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