Trustee Surcharge Litigation in California

Trustee surcharge litigation involves asking a Probate Court to hold a California Trustee or Executor financially responsible for harms caused to a Trust or Will beneficiary’s inheritance. Some of the common things a Trustee can be surcharged for include:

  • Using Trust assets for the Trustee’s own interest.
  • Failing to properly invest the Trust assets.
  • Failing to diversify the Trust’s portfolio of financial and real property assets.
  • Using Trust assets to pay for attorneys fees that were incurred by the actions of the Trustee.

These are just a few examples of when a Probate Court will surcharge a Trustee so that money can be returned to the rightful Trust or Will beneficiaries.

Trustees hold an important position in Trust matters. They have a host of duties and responsibilities that go along with that position. But all too often Trustees don’t understand, appreciate, or follow the many fiduciary duties they are required to uphold. From treating each and every beneficiary fairly, to properly accounting for their actions and spending, to making proper Trust distributions when they are due. When a Trustee violates his or her duty as trustee, it can spell disaster for the Trust beneficiaries. As a beneficiary, there are times when you have to stick up for yourself and take action. Sometimes action can be a simple demand letter to a trustee. More often, however, action requires filing a trustee breach of duty lawsuit in Court.