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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55605
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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If a Trust acts outside of its trust agreement and damages

Resolved Question:

If a Trust acts outside of its trust agreement and damages a person, what cause(s) of action can be asserted against the Trust. The trust agreement is public record, so the provisions are undisputable.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 5 years ago.

Good afternoon. A trustee has a fiduciary duty to the grantor of the trust and its beneficiaries to uphold the provisions of the trust. If they do not, they have breached their fiduciary duty and are subject to be removed and for damages.



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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Can someone not a party to the trust sue the trustee for his breach? It was that breach that caused the damages in question.
Expert:  Richard replied 5 years ago.
No...if that party was damaged by the trustee's actions, that party could sue the trustee, but not the trust.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Right. Sue the trustee. Could the cause of action still be 'breach of fiduciary duty' even though the claimant is not a party to the trust?

The damage was directly caused as a result of their breach.
Expert:  Richard replied 5 years ago.
No, in that case it would not be breach of fiduciary duty because the trustee has no fiduciary duty to someone outside the trust. I don't know any of the facts, but it would either be a personal injury or property damage claim, I would presume. Or, some other tort such as negligence, tortious interference, or something else.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Tortious interference sounds pretty good