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Probate and Estate Litigation Blog

Has there been a breach of fiduciary duty?

When a loved one passes away, they often leave an estate behind for their loved ones to figure out. These estates can cause a family stress and disagreements. Those who are put in charge of an estate may not be doing their duty as far as trust administration and there can be fiduciary issues.

If a family believes their inheritance, trust or estate is being threatened by someone who is not doing their duty, there are several signs to look out for. One is if they are not receiving regular accountings of the estate. Another may be if one beneficiary appears to be favored more than another. Or, if the fiduciary's personal assets are being commingled with the estate's assets. Another common occurrence is if a fiduciary does not get the fair market value of a property before the sale of it. A fiduciary may also overcharge for their services or not disclose conflicts of interest. They can also steal from the trust.

It can be difficult for a family to trust a fiduciary with their estate. If they believe there are fiduciary issues occurring, they may want to speak with a legal professional who is skilled in probate disputes. An attorney can help get the questions answered and understands the complexities that can surround these disputes. When beneficiaries do not receive the information they need, they can feel like they have no control over these important matters. An attorney can help their client work out their disagreements and, if needed, represent them aggressively in court.

No one expects they will be involved in a trust dispute. But, these can occur when beneficiaries are not receiving the information they need and deserve.

Source: FindLaw, "Breach of Fiduciary Duty," accessed on Dec. 10, 2017

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