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Breach of Fiduciary Duty Litigation

A breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit is a legal action taken against an executor, administrator, trustee, or other fiduciary who has breached their legal duty to act in the best interests of the heirs or beneficiaries of an estate or trust.

A fiduciary is a person or entity who has a legal obligation to act in the best interests of another person or group of people. They have numerous fiduciary duties which require them to act with the utmost good faith, loyalty, and care in managing the interests of the other party.

In a probate context, a fiduciary is person, bank, or financial institution responsible for managing a decedent’s estate, as an executor or administrator, or trust, as a trustee. This fiduciary has a legal obligation to act in good faith, with loyalty, and in the best interests of the heirs and beneficiaries of the estate or trust.

As fiduciaries, the duties owed by executors, administrators, and trustees to the beneficiaries or heirs of an estate or trust include:

  • Duty of loyalty. The fiduciary has a duty to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries, putting their interests ahead of their own. This means avoiding conflicts of interest, such as using estate or trust assets for personal gain or favoring one beneficiary over another.
  • Duty of care. The fiduciary must manage the estate or trust assets prudently and responsibly, using reasonable care and skill in making decisions about investments, property management, and other matters. This includes protecting the assets from loss, damage, or depreciation.
  • Duty of impartiality. The fiduciary must treat all beneficiaries fairly and impartially, without showing favoritism or discrimination. This includes making distributions to beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the will or trust and avoiding any actions that could be seen as favoring one beneficiary over another.
  • Duty to provide information. The fiduciary must provide beneficiaries with information about the estate or trust, including an inventory of assets, accounting of income and expenses, and other relevant information. They are also required to respond to reasonable requests for information and to keep beneficiaries informed about the progress of the estate or trust administration.
  • Duty to act in a timely manner. The fiduciary has a duty to administer the estate or trust in a timely and efficient manner, without undue delay or procrastination. This includes filing required documents with the probate court, paying outstanding debts and taxes, and distributing assets to beneficiaries as soon as practicable.

If a fiduciary breaches one or more of their fiduciary duties by acting in a manner that harms beneficiaries, fails to act in their best interests, or engages in self-dealing, the beneficiaries may file a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit in district or probate court.

Examples of breaches of fiduciary duty in probate court include mismanagement of assets, failure to make distributions to beneficiaries, failure to provide adequate accounting or reporting to beneficiaries, and engaging in conflicts of interest.

If a court finds that a fiduciary has breached their legal duty, the court may order the fiduciary to pay damages, remove the fiduciary from their position, or take other appropriate actions to remedy the harm caused by the breach.

Our Fiduciary Litigation Attorneys Are Passionate About What We Do

To schedule a consultation at the Aldrich Law Firm, PLLC with one of our probate and trust litigation attorneys with experience prosecuting breach of fiduciary duty lawsuits, please call us today at (210) 418-1150 or send us a message by completing the intake form on our website.