Do I have standing to sue bank, as Trustee, for mismanagement of my mother’s trusts?

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Do I have standing to sue bank, as Trustee, for mismanagement of my mother’s trusts?

First Trust was set up under my father’s Will after his death 31 years ago. Upon settlement, the Trust had not appreciated although the S&P 500 has gone up over 10-fold. There was no particular guidance from the Will and she had more than adequate dividend income from her own stocks. Second Trust under agreement whereby my mother placed her assets, primarily stocks 21 years ago. Several million dollars had dwindled to less than 600K, and despite my and my siblings urging they failed to diversify as her assets were heavily concentrated in financials.

Asked on September 14, 2011 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the ensuing problems.  I think that you and your siblings should consult with an estate attorney in your area who needs to read the trust in its entirety to see if there are any limiting provisions written in to it and to see how those provisions match up to state law on the conduct of the trustee.  Generally speaking, the issue of gross negligence (as well as fraud and willful misconduct) is carved out in case law and is very case specific.  You need to compel the trustee to file an accounting as a first step toward scrutiny by the court.  You have a huge amount of money here in this case.  You need to check out your rights.  Good luck.


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