Daily Law Group
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When a trustee is not trustworthy

We expect a lot from people entrusted with our money. Those who have fiduciary duties may be trustees, estate administrators, guardians, or agents. They have access to your accounts, and they must conduct themselves with scrupulous honesty. They are not allowed even a hint of self-dealing or conflict of interest.

There are few situations as dangerous as a trustee who is not trustworthy.

A fiduciary is to the beneficiary as a parent is to a child. Because the fiduciary has financial skills ordinary people do not have, it is not always easy to evaluate whether the fiduciary is keeping the pledge of loyalty and good faith.

The role does not allow the fiduciary to entertain even a moment of disloyalty. Nevertheless, disloyalty and self-dealing occur all the time. When a fiduciary fails to maintain that ethical standard, heirs, beneficiaries, creditors of an estate, and other interested parties have legal remedies they can pursue.

The art of self-dealing

Common examples of self-dealing include:

  • Transferring or selling trust assets to the trustee or to the trustee’s family members
  • Selling trust property to a party chosen by the trustee, who personally benefits from the transaction
  • Selling trust properties with neither the court’s permission or the family’s approval
  • Selling property belonging to the trustee to the trust, enriching the trustee
  • Failing to extend to the trust estate the right of first refusal on a purchase
  • Taking personal advantage of corporate opportunities for the trustee’s personal benefit

Breach of fiduciary duty suits are often resolved based on relevant case law. In this complex area of law, you want to work with enormous database of decisions and outcomes.

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