Is a trustee operating in their own interests?

On Behalf of | Sep 19, 2022 | Breach Of Fiduciary Duty

Most people give a lot of thought to whom they appoint as a trustee. Despite this, some trustees turn out to be dishonest and see their position as a means to make money.

Some may do so because that’s how they always are. Others do it because they find themselves in a desperate situation and fall into temptation.

Trustees have a fiduciary duty

Anyone who accepts the role of a trustee must put personal interests aside and make decisions based on what is best for the trust’s beneficiaries. If they do not, the beneficiaries could ask a court to remove them for breaching their fiduciary duty.

How they invest matters

Trustees typically need to invest the trust’s assets to increase their value. With so many places available to invest, they might not always make decisions that you, as a beneficiary, agree with. Does that mean you can challenge them? It depends.

Trustees should be able to explain their decisions to you

Making the best investment choices is not straightforward. Even those with decades of experience make choices that turn out to be wrong in hindsight. Just because your trustee made a poor choice, that does not mean they have breached their duty to you.

However, you may be able to remove them is if they make a series of poor choices or if there is evidence that they are making decisions based on personal interests. An example would be if they invest the trust’s assets in a company they have ties to or receive a commission from.

If you suspect that a trustee is putting their interests above yours, seek legal help to find out whether you have grounds to seek their removal.


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