Daily Law Group
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When fiduciary negligence affects your trust income

The trustee your parents chose to manage their California estate on your behalf has been taking care of things for years, but recently, your income has dipped, and it appears that there is a problem with some of the investments that have been made. We at the Daily Law Group often review circumstances involving trusts for clients to determine if trustees have been negligent in fulfilling their fiduciary duties to the beneficiaries.

FindLaw points out that in order for you to win a case of fiduciary negligence in court, you will have to establish certain elements. The first should be simple, as you must show that the trustee has a fiduciary relationship with you. The trust documents should state this clearly. They should also establish the second factor, which is to define the scope of the trustee's duties and his or her relationship to you, the beneficiary. The third and fourth elements may require some careful investigation, though.

You must be able to show the court that the trustee did, in fact, either act irresponsibly or fail to act responsibly in performing his or her fiduciary duties. Not only that, you must prove that it was that breach of duty that caused you specific damages. For example, perhaps your trustee chose not to diversify investments when the current market would indicate to a prudent investor that this was a bad idea, and this reduced the amount of income available to you and made it difficult for you to cover your monthly expenses. The court may agree with you that your trustee was negligent in the duties, and may order him or her to cover your financial losses out of personal assets.

More information about breaches of fiduciary duty is available on our webpage.

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