The financial rights and interests of trust beneficiaries are subject to the skill, integrity and conduct of trustees. While many trustees perform their duties in the best interests of beneficiaries, unfortunately, some do not, but are guided by their own self-interests, the interests of only certain beneficiaries, or are unfit or unwilling to administer the trust properly. If you need a Nashville trust litigation lawyer, or a lawyer to handle a trust matter in another part of Tennessee, Pepper Law, PLC can provide you with experienced representation.
If you are a trust beneficiary with a claim against a trustee for self-dealing; conflict of interest transactions; improper investments; improper loans; mismanagement of trust assets; waste of assets; or, other conduct or indifference, you need a law firm with experience in handling trust lawsuits. We have the skills, experience and dedication necessary to ensure that you have the optimum chance for success in your trust case, whatever the particular issues in your case may be, and whether you need to remove a trustee, recover money, or both.
Under the Tennessee Uniform Trust Code, a trustee must comply with the “prudent investor rule” which is codified in the Uniform Prudent Investor Act (which is incorporated into the Tennessee Uniform Trust Code). Additionally, the Tennessee Uniform Trust Code imposes a duty of loyalty on trustees.
In some cases, trustees can be held personally liable for using trust assets to engage in transactions in which they have a direct or even indirect financial interest. Trustees may also be personally liable for other conduct in the administration of the trust including for making investments that result in losses of trust assets. The Nashville trust litigation lawyers at Pepper Law, PLC handle cases involving trustee liability in Nashville and throughout Tennessee.
Under certain circumstances, it may be in the best interest of a beneficiary or beneficiaries to remove a trustee. To remove a trustee, an action must be filed with the appropriate court, the Chancery Court or Probate Court.
Once an action is filed to remove a trustee, a Tennessee court has the ability, under the Tennessee Uniform Trust Code, to remove the trustee for a number of reasons, including: (1) for a serious breach of trust; (2) because the trustee cannot cooperate with a co-trustee; (3) because the trustee is unfit or otherwise is not administering the trust effectively; (4) because circumstances have changed substantially since the settlor established the terms of the trust; (5) or, because all of the beneficiaries request the removal of the trustee. For reasons (4) and (5), the court must also find that the removal serves the best interests of all of the beneficiaries, and is not inconsistent with a material purpose of the trust.
As a beneficiary of a trust, you are entitled to have the trustee provide an accounting of trust income and expenditures. If the trustee refuses, a court action may be brought to force the trustee to provide an accounting and to produce “source” financial documents related to expenditures, income, investment of trust assets and investment returns.
Pepper Law, PLC will provide you with an initial consultation at no charge if you have a trust litigation matter in Nashville or any other part of Tennessee.