What to Do if You Suspect Someone is Stealing from a Trust

Trusts are established to protect assets and ensure they're used for their intended purposes. Unfortunately, cases of mismanagement or even outright theft can occur. If you suspect that a trustee is not fulfilling their duties, take quick action to protect the trust's assets.

  • Gather evidence: Before making any accusations, gather as much evidence as possible to support your suspicions. This could include financial statements, transaction records, communication with trustees or beneficiaries and any other relevant documentation.
  • Consult with an attorney: Seeking advice from James Bart Leonardi, LLC can provide guidance on your rights and options, as well as help you understand the legal implications of the situation. Our firm can advise you on the appropriate steps to take to address the issue.
  • Notify the trustee: If you're not the trustee yourself, inform the trustee of your concerns. The trustee has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the trust and its beneficiaries. Provide them with any evidence you've gathered and request that they investigate the matter promptly.
  • Consider a lawsuit: If your suspicions are not adequately addressed or if the evidence suggests criminal activity, you may need to file a lawsuit to recover misappropriated assets and hold the responsible parties accountable. Our firm can advise you on the best course of action and represent your interests in court, if litigation is necessary.
  • Protect the assets: In the meantime, take steps to protect the trust's assets from further harm. This may involve freezing accounts, changing passwords or implementing other security measures to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Document everything: Throughout the process, keep detailed records of all communications, transactions and actions taken regarding the suspected theft. These records may be crucial if the matter ends up in court or if you need to provide evidence.
  • Stay informed: Finally, stay informed about developments in the case and continue to advocate for the best interests of the trust and its beneficiaries. Keep communication channels open with other stakeholders.

Suspecting that someone is stealing from a trust can be distressing, and taking prompt action is the key to protect the trust's assets. With the guidance of an experienced estate planning attorney, you can protect the trust beneficiaries and ensure that the assets are distributed appropriately. Call James Bart Leonardi, LLC to learn more about your rights and options.

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