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Texas estate planning: When a trustee can't be trusted

When planning one's estate, if a trust is created, one will have to name one or more people to manage the trust. The trustee named when going through the estate planning process will be responsible for making sure the trust is tended to and administered appropriately and in accordance with Texas laws when the time comes. What can one do, though, when a trustee cannot be trusted?

A trustee is supposed to administer an estate according to the terms put forth in the trust instrument. Depending on the language of the document, certain decisions will be up to the trustee's discretion. However, this does not give him or her free reign to do whatever he or she wants. There are limits to his or her power.

If a trustee fails to make choices that serve the best interest of the trust, or if the trust is erroneously administered, beneficiaries can take legal action. Civil claims that are successfully litigated against a trustee can result in the petitioner being awarded damages for any losses experienced as a result of the trustee's actions. One's legal counsel can provide more information about this option.

Administering a trust is not necessarily an easy task. A number of issues may arise, or distributions may be made inappropriately, simply due to a lack of understanding on the trustee's part. Whether an administration error is due to a mistake or was done on purpose to benefit the trustee, it is okay to seek legal assistance in order to resolve the matter. An experienced estate planning attorney can assist Texas residents who may have issues with the way a loved one's trust is written or with how the trustee is handling the administration process.

Source: dummies.com, "What Are a Trustee's Fiduciary Duties?", Accessed on May 3, 2017

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