Under What Conditions Can You Sue a Trustee for Breach of Duty?

Conditions to sue a trustee for breach of duty include when a trustee's own finances have mingled with that of the trust, when a conflict of interest arises where the trustee's personal interest may go against the wishes of the trust's beneficiaries, or when a trustee fails to stop a co-trustee for breach of trust, FreeAdvice.com says. Generally, beneficiaries of a trust are the ones who can bring a lawsuit against the trustee.

If a trustee fails to perform his duties as outlined in the trust, or if his carelessness causes an abuse of trust, he may be considered in breach of his fiduciary duty, FreeAdvice.com explains. This is illegal, and the trustee can be held legally responsible. Determining how or when an abuse of trust has taken place is sometimes difficult, because the trustee can make certain decisions as part of his position. He can be held liable for breach of duty If evidence indicates the trustee failed to act with reasonable care.

If beneficiaries want to bring a breach of trust action against the trustee, usually this must be done with one year from when the alleged breach took place. Depending on the nature of the breach and other circumstances, the trustee may be ordered to step down from his position, FreeAdvice.com notes.