What can I do about a trustee who abused their authority regarding a Trust?

My father left me a living Trust and left my 88 year old grandmother as trustee. After he passed away, my grandmother was deemed incompetent due to dementia. My uncle took over as her power of attorney and that meant taking over everything, including my Trust. He broke the Trust and gave my sister and myself all of the money, when it was supposed to be dispersed yearly until it ran out. My father left it like that on purpose knowing my sister and I were young and had other issues so we couldn’t handle the money. My uncle mishandled the Trust. Also, there were other people in line if she was not able to handle it and no one stepped up.

Asked on November 3, 2014 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can sue your uncle for breach of the trust.  He will be liable for the loss to the trust.  Your remedy is to seek a constructive trust against your uncle which means that he will be required to return the lost funds and any other misappropriated property or its value to the trust.  The lost funds and any other misappropriated property can be traced to facilitate recovery. 

Since the trust provided for successor trustees, the procedures set forth in the trust for appointing a successor should be followed.  If that isn't feasible, the court can appoint a trustee.


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