What is a successor trustee’s liability if found to have breached their duties?

A successor trustee assumes both general duties and specific duties as trustee. It is an important job. If you are found to have breached any of these duties (which is also sometimes referred to as a “breach of trust”), a beneficiary can file a lawsuit seeking:

  1. To compel you to perform your duties.
  2. To enjoin you from committing breach of trust.
  3. To compel you to redress a breach of trust.
  4. To require an accounting. 
  5. To remove you as trustee.
  6. To reduce or deny you compensation. 

These are the most common claims that the beneficiaries make against a successor trustee of the trust. The successor trustee is able to defend his or her actions, and usually can use the trust’s assets to pay an attorney for the cost of such defense. 

There are also several defenses available to a trustee charged with breach of the trust. 

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