Trustees have important legal obligations in Texas. They must use their best efforts to manage the assets of a trust in accordance with the terms and provisions of the trust for the trust beneficiaries. They must avoid conflict of interest transactions, such as transactions in which they will gain a financial benefit. They usually must not give preference to one beneficiary over another.
Trustees are fiduciaries, which means that they are held to a higher legal standard of accountability in their business dealings. In most circumstances, when administering a trust, they should put the interests of the trust beneficiaries first. When a matter arises that is outside their scope of expertise, they ordinarily should consider hiring an expert (such as an accountant or business advisor) to provide advice.
If you are the beneficiary of a trust, you deserve to have a trustee who will work hard in order to manage the trust assets for your benefit. Trustees, however, can violate their fiduciary obligations in a number of ways such as:
The foregoing are only some ways in which a trustee may engage in mismanagement. When a trustee is found to have violated his or her duties, the trust beneficiaries may be entitled to damages from the wrongful actions, or the appointment of a new trustee.
In situations in which a trustee is not managing a trust appropriately, it is usually imperative to seek legal counsel immediately. In some cases, trustees are inappropriately investing or misusing trust assets, it may be difficult to regain these assets later. In other cases, it may be necessary to seek an injunction to prohibit a trustee from engaging in inappropriate actions.
Our two partners collectively have more than 60 years of legal experience representing clients in will contests, inheritance disputes, estate and trust disputes, and related litigation. We can meet with you and once we learn about your case, we can explain how we may be able to help you.