What’s the Worst That Can Happen in a Trust?
Attorney L. Reed Bloodworth and the Bloodworth Law team know and have seen the worst that can happen between families and relatives over trusts.
Reed is a U.S. News & World Report Best Lawyer in Trusts & Estates litigation. He is the managing partner of the Orlando and Winter Haven law firm that handles trust disputes across the state of Florida.
Trust Your Heart, Follow Your Gut
Reed says a rule of thumb is that if you feel in your heart that a trustee is doing something wrong, you should talk to an attorney immediately.
Here are some of the worst things that a trustee can do:
- Pay themselves excessive fees
- Take a loan from a trust
- Distribute funds illegally
- Buy an asset for less than it’s worth
- Steal assets, sell them, and keep the money
- Hide assets from the trust
- Change trust transactions
- Invest trust assets in personal interests
When family or friends are the trustees, it’s difficult for others to believe there is something illegal being done.
Proof of Wrongdoing
To find proof of wrongdoing in a trust, attorneys hire financial experts known as forensic accountants to audit the account and search for problems.
A forensic accountant audits trust accounts to look for fraud. If they find illegal activity, forensic accountants may present financial reports as evidence during trust hearings and they may testify as expert witnesses.
Illegal activities by a trustee may include:
- Accounting Actions: Trustees accused of wrongdoing in an accounting action.
- A Lack of Capacity: the absence of mental capacity by a person when a trust was created.
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty: claiming that ineffective or improper or trust management occurred.
- Tortious Interference with a Testamentary Expectancy: Questionable, detrimental, intentional interference with a trust.
- Undue Influence: claiming that someone had improper influence over a person who intends on changing a trust to benefit a person or organization.
Anyone May File a Trust Dispute
Anyone involved in a trust may file a legal dispute and the trust may enter litigation.
If you believe that someone is stealing, manipulating, or lying to get money from a trust, only a lawyer can help you resolve the dispute. The longer you wait, the worse things can get.
Talk with attorney Reed Bloodworth to find out how Bloodworth Law can help you or your family.Consider sharing this post