Suing trustees for breach of fiduciary duty

On Behalf of | Sep 13, 2021 | Trusts

Sometimes, the execution of trusts created by a loved one in Oregon doesn’t go as planned after the person’s passing. The trustee may not intend to fulfill the deceased’s wishes, so what can you do if a trust dispute occurs?

Trustees have an obligation

The individuals or organization named as trustees have a fiduciary responsibility to manage trust assets according to the terms set forth in the document. These assets can encompass real estate, financial holdings or tangible property. Trustees must assess the value of all assets and should be impartial to all beneficiaries. Nevertheless, trust disputes can occur in several different areas whether it involves assessment of value or distribution of assets. All beneficiaries must receive a trust account, and trustees must provide an annual income statement to anyone receiving proceeds.

What happens when trustees neglect their duties?

Trustees who neglect any of their prescribed duties or cause a loss of trust value may be subject to breach of fiduciary duties. In such instances, beneficiaries can file a suit against trustees to hold them liable for their action or attempt to seek their personal assets in the event of mismanagement.

When setting up an estate, all legal documents involved should clearly stipulate the terms and actions that trustees must follow to carry out the deceased’s wishes. As a beneficiary involved in a trust dispute, you have the legal right to certain information, including attorney conflict of interest, plus an accounting of assets and how assets are to be distributed. Professional trustees can also be held liable if beneficiaries believe the individual or organization violated professional or ethical codes.