Trust Law Partners Blog

We understand how complicated it can be to navigate trust disputes. Our blog is designed to give you the information needed to better understand how to protect your interests as trustees.


Petitions to Compel Distribution from Trustees Who Fail to Fulfill Fiduciary Duty (aka. Forcing the Trustee to Pay)

A trust is a legal instrument that allows a trustee to hold and manage assets for the benefit of designated beneficiaries. Trustees are required to fulfill their fiduciary duty, which means they must act in the best interest of the beneficiaries and manage the trust assets responsibly. Unfortunately, some trustees may fail to meet their obligations, which can lead to disputes and legal action.

One common problem that arises in trust disputes is a trustee’s failure to distribute assets. Beneficiaries may become frustrated when they are unable to access their inheritance or receive the income they are entitled to. In some cases, trustees may use trust property for their own purposes or live in a residence owned by the trust without paying rent. These actions can be a breach of the trustee’s fiduciary duty and may require legal intervention to resolve.

When a trustee fails to distribute assets, a beneficiary or group of beneficiaries can file a petition to compel distribution. This legal action seeks to force the trustee to distribute the assets and fulfill their fiduciary duty. In some cases, an experienced trust litigator may be needed to motivate the trustee to distribute the assets and recover damages for lost income, devalued assets, and unpaid rent.

If a trustee is found to have breached their fiduciary duty by mismanaging trust assets or using them for their own purposes, they may be held personally liable for any resulting losses. This can include lost income or devalued assets. The trustee may also be required to pay rent for their use of a trust-owned residence.

It is important for beneficiaries to be aware of their rights and to take action if they suspect that a trustee is not fulfilling their fiduciary duty. A trust dispute can be a complex and emotional process, but with the help of an experienced trust litigator, beneficiaries can seek justice and protect their rights.

In conclusion, petitions to compel distribution are an important legal tool for beneficiaries who are being denied access to their inheritance or income by a trustee who is not fulfilling their fiduciary duty. If you suspect that a trustee is mismanaging trust assets or using them for their own purposes, it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced trust litigator who can help you navigate the legal process and pro-tect your rights.