Waco Trust Litigation Lawyers
The attorneys of Cherry Johnson Siegmund James LLC provide strong legal representation to beneficiaries and trustees in disputes over the management of trusts. Call us in Waco at (254) 732-2242.
In court and out of court, we help our clients resolve disputes that involve the following:
- Allegations of trustee malfeasance, including forgery, fraud and self-dealing
- Failure to adequately distribute trust proceeds
- Failure to make full disclosure, including communication breakdowns between trustees and beneficiaries
- Trust modifications
- Actions to compel trustees to provide accountings
- Removal and replacement of a trustee
- Other issues related to trust management
The Duties Of A Trustee
A trustee’s fiduciary duties are some of the most demanding legal obligations that can be placed on a friend or family member. That is why many trust creators — called settlors in Texas legal parlance — choose corporate trustees to handle the various fiduciary responsibilities that come with managing a trust.
The basic duties of a trustee are:
- Duty of full disclosure — The trustee is obliged to inform the beneficiary of all material facts that affect the beneficiary’s interest in the trust.
- Duty of loyalty to the trust beneficiary — This duty is most often breached when a trustee engages in self-dealing, such as undervaluing trust assets and selling them to the trustee’s own business.
- Duty of impartiality — When there are two or more beneficiaries, the trustee must treat them impartially unless the trust document instructs otherwise.
- Duty of reasonable care — The trustee must manage the trust just as a careful and capable person would. That means the trustee has an obligation to monitor the actions of accountants and other professionals who have been hired to help manage the trust.
Our attorneys can answer any questions you have about these obligations and whether or not they are being fulfilled. We can also explain your legal options for addressing and resolving a breach of fiduciary duty.
Other Fiduciary Matters
As part of our fiduciary litigation practice, we also handle lawsuits involving will contests, probate disputes and contested guardianship. In each case, we are committed to protecting our client’s interests while minimizing any emotional conflict between family members. While we are strong litigators, our first course of action is to explore budget-conscious solutions that preserve estate assets.