Frisco and Plano Estate Planning Attorneys Achieve Dispute Resolution
A trust establishes a legal relationship in which a trustee holds legal title and possession of property that is owned by the beneficiaries. This document is a useful estate planning tool that may serve a variety of purposes, such as controlling your wealth, reducing tax liability, providing for children or supporting a charity. However, because the trust arrangement directs a third person to handle the money or assets of another, problems may arise.
Albin Roach is an established trust litigation law firm that serves clients throughout North Texas, including in Frisco and Plano. Our estate planning attorneys advise you on creating a solid trust instrument that protects your wealth and your beneficiaries. As litigation lawyers, we can anticipate and address potential problems during the drafting stage.
Unfortunately, disputes sometimes occur involving even the most well drafted documents. We recommend you seek timely counsel to minimize the damage to the trust. If we drafted your trust instrument, we included provisions that established clear trustee duties, causes of action and remedies so we can take precise, quick action to protect your funds.
The trust document controls the manner in which the trust is held, managed, protected, invested and distributed. The trustee is required to abide by the terms of the instrument, but is often given varying degrees of discretion to make decisions concerning the trust.
For example, the trust instrument might allow the trustee to make sound stock purchases or it might strictly prohibit certain types of investments. Likewise, the instrument might specify in detail the conditions upon which a beneficiary receives funds, or it might provide wide latitude in the matter. Regardless of the level of discretion permitted, the trustee must use good judgment and act in the best interests of the beneficiaries while abiding by the law and the instrument itself.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
The trustee accepts fiduciary duties imposed by the trust instrument, the Texas Trust Code and under the state’s common laws. As a fiduciary, the trustee has a duty to act in the beneficiaries’ best interests when making decisions about the trust, including:
- Avoiding conflicts of interests
- Not obtaining a personal benefit — although the trust might allow for trustee fees
- Applying all of the knowledge and skills at the trustee’s disposal
- Providing a full accounting of the activities undertaken on behalf of the trust
- Acting with discretion and holding trust matters in confidence
A breach occurs when the trustee fails to act in the beneficiaries’ best interest. A breach is in bad faith if the trustee had an improper motive, such as stealing funds or intentionally withholding material information from the beneficiaries. A trustee who makes a mistake commits a good faith breach and can be held liable even though the breach was an accident.
Our Frisco and Plano estate planning attorneys take decisive action to protect the trust and your interests.
Consult with Our Plano Estate Planning Attorneys About Trust Litigation Matters
Learn more about whether you have a claim against your trustee. Call Albin Roach at 214-423-5100 or contact our estate planning law firm online.