Fiduciary Duties

Serving as guardian, executor, trustee or administrator brings with it “fiduciary duties.” If fiduciary responsibilities are imposed upon you, you must place the interest of the estate or trust above your own and handle matters with the utmost good faith.

Litigation for breach of fiduciary duty is complex. The damages that can be imposed for a breach of fiduciary duty can be very significant. Our firm is experienced in bringing and defending breach of fiduciary cases.

Over the years we have learned that certain situations are more likely to result in fiduciary litigation than others. Examples would include situations where the decedent had multiple marriages; children from prior marriages; prior lawsuits amongst family members; favoring one child to the exclusion of others; an unusual gift or bequest involving a large sum of money; financial exploitation; refusal to provide information; or missing property. If you are a fiduciary facing one of the situations, extra care will be required to ensure that you meet all of your legal obligations.

On the other hand, you may feel that someone has breached their fiduciary duties to you. Our firm is experienced in presenting breach of fiduciary duty claims to judges and juries.

A developing area of the law involves a new tort known as, “tortious interference with inheritance rights.” The courts are just beginning to explore these types of claims. These cases are generally defined as a situation where a person who by fraud, duress or other means intentionally prevents another person from receiving from a third-party a gift or inheritance that he or she would have otherwise received. We expect these type of cases to become more common in the coming years.