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RayAnswers, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 42871
Experience:  Texas lawyer for 30 years in Estate law
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My husband is a beneficiary of an irrevocable trust as is s

Customer Question

My husband is a beneficiary of an irrevocable trust as is his brother who is also the trustee. They are in the process of terminating the trust since their mother passed away 4 years ago. We found out that before their mother passed away, the brother trustee took out a loan for around $300,000 for his own use and has been using the trust income to make payments. We received an accounting (very poorly written) that said between 2007 to 2012, he wrote checks to Keller Williams in a total amount of around $360,000. At that time, he and his wife had a Keller Williams brokerage firm. We have asked for an explanation of these checks but have not received any. My husband has not received a Distribution Agreement, but has found out that the brother transferred the Trust farmland without my husband's knowledge using Trustee's Deeds, dividing the property between the brother and my husband. The brother has also transferred the mortgage loan to his portion of the land using it as collateral. Does my husband have any recourse?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you.

Yes he will need a lawyer to sue the trustee brother.These are breaches of trustee's fiduciary duties and he is personally liable to the beneficiaries.He has caused loss of income and assets and you can get judgment against him personally.He can also be removed as trustee and court ordered to produce full accounting.

Your husband has rights including seeking damages and removal of the brother and an accounting.The value of the damages may go up once you identify the total losses.

I would encourage your husband to obtain lawyer where trust and property is located here and sue for all of this.I am so sorry that he had this happen to him.

I appreciate the chance to help you today.Thanks again.

Lawyer referral here

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

2015 Minnesota Statutes


Chapter 604

Section 604.14



Subdivision 1.Liability for theft of property.

A person who steals personal property from another is civilly liable to the owner of the property for its value when stolen plus punitive damages of either $50 or up to 100 percent of its value when stolen, whichever is greater. If the property is merchandise stolen from a retail store, its value is the retail price of the merchandise in the store when the theft occurred.

Subd. 2.Notice.

In order to recover under subdivision 1 for the theft of a shopping cart, a store must have posted at the time of the theft a conspicuous notice describing the liability under subdivision 1.

Subd. 3.Liability of parent or guardian.

Section 540.18 applies to this section, except that recovery is not limited to special damages.

Subd. 4.Criminal action.

The filing of a criminal complaint, conviction, or guilty plea is not a prerequisite to liability under this section. Payment or nonpayment may not be used as evidence in a criminal action.

Subd. 5.Recovery of property.

The recovery of stolen property by a person does not affect liability under this section, other than liability for the value of the property.

Subd. 6.Right to demand payment.

A person may make a written demand for payment for the liability imposed by this section before beginning an action, including a copy of this section and a description of the liability contained in this section.

Here he is also liable for civil theft under Minnesota law above.