question.jpgIn Trusts and Estates

Who can seek court relief regarding the enforcement of a trust?

Any beneficiary or trustee can file a lawsuit to request that the court order the proper enforcement of a trust. This is because beneficiaries and trustees have a direct and obvious interest in the trust. Generally, a third party cannot get involved, because they have no interest in the trust. This even includes the settlor (the person who created the trust), because they no longer have any direct property interest in the trust property anymore (unless they are also a beneficiary or trustee). However, some states have laws which allow a third party to file an enforcement lawsuit if that third party has some sort of direct interest in the trust or its property. The most obvious example would be in the case of a charitable trust, where someone is not an actual beneficiary but would be helped by the charity which is the trust beneficiary.