Find Out How Our Raleigh, NC Trust Litigation Attorneys Can Protect Your Rights
At Howard Stallings, our North Carolina trustee removal lawyers have a strong reputation for achieving successful results for our clients and for upholding the highest standards of integrity. We have deep experience handling all matters of estate litigation, including trustee litigation and trustee removal. To set up a strictly confidential review of your trustee removal case, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm today.
Trustees Must Fulfill their Legal Obligations
Under North Carolina law, trustees owe to all beneficiaries of the trust. A fiduciary duty is the highest standard of care under the law — it requires a party to act in the best interests of another party. Among other things, this means that a trustee must always put the interests of the beneficiaries above their own personal interests. Unfortunately, for a number of different reasons, trustees do not always fulfill their responsibilities. In some cases, trustees are simply not up to the job. In other cases, violations occur intentionally. A trustee that violates their fiduciary duties can be removed. Some common examples of trustee fiduciary duty violations include:
- Improper investments; and
- Outright fraud.
Removing a Trustee In North Carolina
North Carolina has a specific statute (NC General Statutes § 36C-7-706) that governs the removal of trustees. In order to remove a trustee, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the trustee has committed a serious breach of the trust, that their actions have substantially impaired the administration of the trust, that they are unfit to handle their duties, or that a substantial change in circumstances otherwise warrants removal. Meeting this burden can sometimes be challenging. It is crucial that plaintiffs seeking the removal of a trustee submit a strong, compelling legal claim. If you are considering filing a petition to remove a trustee, you should speak to an experienced North Carolina estate litigation lawyer right away.
Seeking Compensation for Damages
Trustee removal claims are notoriously complex. While removing a bad-acting trustee is an important step, you may need to take additional action to get justice. Indeed, beyond removing a trustee, beneficiaries who have been damaged by the negligent or wrongful actions of that trustee may be entitled to recover financial compensation. In most trustee breach of fiduciary duty cases, compensation is available for direct financial damages as well as for legal costs/attorneys’ fees. Though, under North Carolina law, punitive damages may also be granted in cases involving gross negligence or especially egregious misconduct on the part of the trustee.
Contact Our Attorneys in Raleigh, New Bern, or Morehead City
At Howard Stallings, our North Carolina estate litigation lawyers have extensive experience representing a wide range of clients in trustee removal claims. Our reputation in trust litigation speaks for itself. To set up a fully confidential review of your case, please contact our legal team. We have law offices in New Bern, Raleigh, and Morehead City and we serve clients throughout North Carolina.