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Does a Beneficiary and Heir have any statutory or common law duties to Trustee?

Vallejo, CA |

If not for dutys imposed by litigation, would I owe trustee ANY duty?
"The trustee and beneficiary are in a fiduciary relationship.
The fiduciary relationship is NOT adversarial.
The fiduciary relationship demands one the highest duties of loyalty:
When persons enter into fiduciary relations each consents, as a matter of law, to have his conduct towards the other measured by the standards of the finer loyalties exacted by courts of equity. That is a sound rule and should not be whittled down by exceptions. If the existence of strained relations should be suffered to work an exception, then a designing fiduciary could easily bring about such relations to set the stage for a sharp bargain.
Not 1 ans. before trustee filed.
Now costs $1,000's/?

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Attorney answers 3


Duties of loyalty and care are owed are from the trustee to the beneficiaries. The trustee is under fiduciary duties to protect and invest the assets in a prudent manner for the benefit of the beneficiaries, and to administer the trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries. The trustee must not place him/herself or their own interests above the interests of the trust beneficiaries.

Beneficiaries do not owe duties to the trustee.

Hope this helps.

This answer is in response to a general legal question and is intended for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice. Use of this website and its e-mail link does not create an attorney-client relationship with Attorney Mekdsy. Messages with confidential information should not be sent to Attorney Mekdsy via the e-mail link. The information provided in this answer must not be used as a substitute for consulting with an attorney. Brian Mekdsy is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts only.


The other lawyer is right that duties are owed by trustees to beneficiaries and not vice versa.

But reality it is that if you want the marbles you have to play the game. That means, communicate with the trustee in reasonable ways which may be required by the trustee in order for him or her or it to do its job. Such as by providing your mailing address for contact informatoin or your physical address for service of process if there is a lawsuit or docketing of the trust for any matter to be resolved in court.

If a beneficiary hides from the trustee, or refuses to cooperate with the legal process, courts will be forgiving of trustees that may be forced to withhold information or distributions to the noncooperative beneficiary. That is reality.

I cant say from your situation if that may apply or not. Good luck to you.

No legal representation exists by virtue of this answer. Consult your attorney. Licensed to practice law in Indiana and Illinois. Circular 230 Disclosure: any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any matters addressed herein.


My colleagues are both correct. The old adage that you catch more flies with honey then you do with vinegar applies. If you create or foster a negative relationship, it will make it that much more challenging for the trustee to perform as needed. If you make the best of it, in the long run, you will be thankful.

** LEGAL DISCLAIMER ** My response above is not legal advice and it does not establish an attoreny-client relationship. When responding to questions posted on Avvo, I provide a general purpose response based on California law as I am licensed in California. In reviewing my response, you are specifically advised that your use of, or reliance upon any response I provide is not advisable. I do not have all relevant background details or facts related to your issue / matter, thus I am not in a position to give you legal advice. Further, your review, use of, or reliance upon my response does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us nor does it qualify as a legal consultation for any purpose. For specific advice regarding your particular circumstances, you should consult and retain local counsel. Law Offices of Eric J. Gold Telephone: 818-279-2737 Email: service@egoldlaw.con

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