Can a trustee be charged for legal fees

Asked over 1 year ago - New York, NY

A trust is being settled after the sole beneificiary died. The remainder beneficiary discovers that the trustee has not paid taxes for a number of years. Trustee has hired a litigator who has crossed the ethical line a few times. Remainder beneficiary wants her lawyer to ask the surrogate court to have the trustee pay his own legal fees. Can this be done and can it be successful. Remainder beneficiary has read a New York appellate case where the appellate court supported a decsion made by a surrogate court to have the trustee pay his own legal fees. In that case, the trustee had over paid taxes and the surrogate and appellate court said over payment of taxes was a breach of trustee's fidcuciary's duties.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Richard Albert Luthmann


    Contributor Level 14


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    Answered . Hie your own, new lawyer. Use Matter of Hyde and related decisions to leverage the result that you need.

    This answer is made for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that... more
  2. Jeffrey Jose Estrella

    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . What is the case?

    Generally legal fees are paid out of trust res but if breached fiduciary duties and found so by the court, it can be done to have them pay legal fees or reimburse trust for money lost by the breach. Hire an attorney to protect your legal rights.


    Jeffrey J. Estrella, Esq.
    Licensed Attorney and Counsellor At Law/Abogado y Licensiado
    Licensed in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut
    The Estrella Law Firm, P.C.
    75-20 Astoria Boulevard, Suite 170
    Inside The Bulova Corporate Center
    Jackson Heights, NY 11370
    T. (347) 628-2391
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    The answers posted herein are not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship exists. Call for a free 20... more
  3. Joseph Jonathan Brophy

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . It can be done, but it generally involves an ugly expensive litigation. You will need to hire a good Surrogate's court litigator and be prepared to pay substantial legal fees.

    Any opinions stated in response to Avvo questions are based upon the facts stated in the question. Responses to... more

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