Breach of Fiduciary Duty: When Responsibility Goes WrongCategory: News
The administration of an estate is a serious task. Grief weighs heavily on the situation for many involved, but the fiduciary duty arising from estate administration still requires consistent, transparent ethics. This duty, which varies with context, carries great responsibility.
If you suspect that a responsible party is failing to administer your loved one’s estate appropriately, contact a Fort Myers breach of fiduciary duty lawyer. An attorney can help explain just what responsibilities administrators have and what actions constitute a breach.
In some instances, the breach may seem obvious to you. Perhaps money has gone missing and there is no formal accounting to explain why. Sometimes, administrators simply don’t distribute assets in a timely manner or according to the estate plan your loved one created.
Other instances can be more complex and may not be easy to spot or prove right away. For instance, if an administrator is managing accounts and you expect to see certain returns on the investments, you may need to consider if the evidence really indicates a breach of duty or not.
Is the administrator failing to manage the funds properly or is he or she trying to ensure that you don’t lose your loved one’s money with a risk-averse portfolio?
In these situations, an experienced breach of fiduciary duty lawyer can assist in determining how you might obtain your desired outcome.
You may have other concerns, but you’re not sure if you’re protected under Florida estate law. Maybe you think the administrator is paying himself or herself too much money. Maybe the administrator is using your loved one’s assets — cars, boats or homes — for personal use or renting them to friends at discounted rates or selling them at low-ball prices to colleagues.
Generally speaking, if your gut tells you something isn’t right, it may be time to meet with a lawyer who has experience with fiduciary duty and estate law so you can learn more.
Protecting Against Breach of Fiduciary Duty in Florida
A fiduciary duty exists when one person trusts another to handle a transaction or financial matter in an ethical fashion and that person accepts that duty. Your lawyer needs to show that this relationship/duty was established, the administrator breached the duty and you have suffered harm or damage as a result.
These duties may be extensive in many cases. They include loyalty, impartiality, avoiding conflict of interest, care, caution, communication and accounting, among others. When a lawsuit arises, the fiduciary is personally liable for the suit — the proceeds of trusts of other accounts cannot pay his or her legal fees, even if he or she is compensated from those accounts.
As always, if you have concerns of breach of fiduciary duty in Fort Myers or other parts of Florida, please contact Freidin & Inglis immediately so we can help you resolve your case.