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What steps should I take if I suspect a breach of fiduciary duty in probate while the settlor of the trust was still alive?

Breach of Fiduciary Duty in Probate

The failure to act solely in the party’s interests when a duty is owed. A breach of fiduciary duty in probate occurs when a trustee engages in activities that benefit only the trustee. This typically occurs when the trustee has no regard for the beneficiaries. To read more about breach of fiduciary duty in probate click here.

With the recent decision of the California Supreme Court in the case involving the Estate of Giraldin, beneficiaries now have even greater rights against trustees. That court decision makes it possible for beneficiaries to sue trustees for breaching a fiduciary duty during the time that the settlor was still alive. As long as the act constituted a breach against the settlor, the beneficiary can pursue an action.

What should I do if I suspect a trustee breached a fiduciary duty while the settlor was still alive?

Beneficiaries shouldn’t hesitate to consult with an attorney if they suspect prior incidents of breach of fiduciary duty in probate. In addition, you can consider taking the following steps:

  • First of all, obtain copies of the trust and all amendments.
  • Additionally, gather any documentation that supports the alleged breach by the trustee.
  • Furthermore, request information about all trust assets.
  • In conclusion, request copies of trust accountings.

This information will assist your attorney in evaluating whether the trustee committed a breach, as well as whether you may have standing to bring an action. For additional ways to prepare for your first meeting with your legal advisor, view our article, How to Prepare for Your Initial Phone Consultation.

California estate litigation matters are complex and require the knowledge of an experienced professional. Our free guide, The Ultimate Guide to California Trust and Probate Litigation, provides an overview of what to expect during the trust litigation process. To learn more, contact an experienced San Diego probate lawyer today. Call our toll-free number at (888) 443-6590 for a free consultation. It would be our pleasure to further assist you.

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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