Misconduct in management and use of Trust
Case Summary: Alan represented a disabled woman in her 60s was the beneficiary of a trust that required the trustee, her sister, to provide a “housing benefit” for her. The trustee owned and managed a home in which both she and Alan’s client grew up. The trustee decided to sell the house, and prior to selling the house evicted her sister and left her to find her own housing (she ended up staying briefly in a motel). Alan’s client eventually found an apartment in a public housing development in another town. Along the way the trustee dipped into the trust to buy herself a car and other personal property. Alan filed suit on the disabled woman’s behalf and settled the case shortly after taking the sister’s deposition, where he exposed her misconduct. Under the settlement, the sister consented to the appointment of a new trustee and agreed to reimburse the trust for a meaningful percentage of the amounts she had improperly taken from it.