Mayfield v. Peek, 546 S.W.3d 253 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2017, no pet.).




Beneficiary alleged that Trustee violated his fiduciary duty when he convinced his mentally impaired mother to transfer assets out of the trust and into another trust for his benefit. The trial court determined that because the trust was revocable, Beneficiary did not have a vested interest to give her standing. Beneficiary appealed.


The appellate court reversed. The court explained that Property Code § 115.001(a) provides that any interested person may bring an action and “interested person” is defined in Property Code § 111.004(7) to include a beneficiary. The definition of “beneficiary” includes a person for whose benefit the property is held in trust regardless of the nature of the interest. Property Code 111.004(2). “Interest” is defined in Property Code § 111.004(6) to include both vested and contingent interests. Accordingly, Beneficiary had standing even though her interest was subject to defeasement by a trust revocation or modification. However, the court pointed out that the contingent nature of her interest could make it difficult to prevail on the merits of her claim.


Moral:  A contingent beneficiary of a revocable trust has standing to bring an action against the trustee for breach of fiduciary duty.