Monday, August 11, 2014
When a beneficiary of a Delaware trust believes that the trustee is using funds from the trust for personal gain, the beneficiary may bring legal action. Duane Hardy needed family assistance with his financial affairs due to suffering from bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia. Hardy created a trust with himself as beneficiary and two family members as co-trustees. However, instead of helping Hardy organize his finances, the trustees used the funds to finance home renovations and purchase luxury cars for themselves. Hardy petitioned the Court of Chancery to recover the lost funds.
In Hardy v. Hardy, the court held the trustees liable for breach of their fiduciary duty and Hardy was awarded roughly $250,000 in reimbursements for the trustees’ trust spending, plus interest and attorney fees.
See Carl D. Neff, Delaware Trust Beneficiaries: Why it is Important That Your Trustee is Trustworthy, Mondaq, Aug. 1, 2014.