How to Report Fraud of a Trustee of an Estate

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A trustee is meant to distribute estate assets, including real estate, automobiles and heirlooms, according to the instructions of the grantor--the person who establishes the trust. If, however, a trustee does not act in the best interest of a trust's beneficiaries and engages in fraudulent activity, the grantor or beneficiaries of that trust can report the fraudulent activity and have the trustee's authority revoked.

  • Visit the probate court where the trust is filed. Petition the court for a hearing. Claim fraudulent activity as the reason for the hearing. Ask the county clerk for the correct forms.

  • Ask the court to defer the trustee's authority until the claims made against him are proven false. Explain that the beneficiaries' interests are at risk due to gross fraudulent activity. Attach supporting documentation, such as statements of loss or forged checks.

  • File your petition with the county clerk and request a hearing date.

  • Inform the trustee as well as beneficiaries and other interested parties of the hearing date in writing. Notify all parties prior to the date set by the court.

  • Argue your claims of fraud at the hearing. Request damages, which may include compensation for the total loss suffered by the trust and its beneficiaries. Ask the judge to remove the trustee from her position going forward.

Tips & Warnings

  • Record any incidence of fraud--witnessed or discovered--and report the information to the judge at your hearing.

References

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