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By: Scott Grossman on September 4th, 2016

Trustee Distributing To Wrong Beneficiary?

After your loved one passes away, you rightfully expect that his or her trust will be administered in accordance with your loved one’s wishes. Unfortunately, mistakes are sometimes made during this process. One such mistake occurs when successor trustees make a distribution of trust assets to the wrong beneficiary. If you are the beneficiary of a trust and the trustee gave your inheritance to someone else, you may need to pursue a lawsuit against a trustee.

What should you do if the trustee of a trust is distributing to the wrong beneficiary? Consider taking the following actions:

  1. Carefully review the terms of the living trust to ensure that the distribution was in fact made to the wrong beneficiary.
  2. Consult with an experienced legal professional right away. The more time that passes, the less likely you may be to recover the assets that were erroneously given to the wrong beneficiary.
  3. Contact the trustee immediately upon discovery of the erroneous distribution of trust assets, and try to get the trustee to resolve the mistake without need for further action.
  4. Pursue litigation against the trustee, and request that the court order the trustee to reimburse the trust from his or her own personal funds.
  5. Demonstrate that there is no honest, fair, or reasonable justification for the erroneous distribution.

When a trustee is not making proper distributions during the trust administration process, you may need to take action. Our article, “How to Get Your Trustee to Distribute Your Inheritance to You,” offers an overview of steps you may need to pursue to force a distribution.

If you are ready to start your case, then please give us a call or fill out our Get Help Now form.  If you want a comprehensive overview of California Probate, then click here. Should you have additional questions about trust litigation, then you will find plenty of useful information in our Learning Center.