Ensuring Effective Execution Of Fiduciary Duties
Anytime someone accepts the responsibility of serving as an executor, administrator, guardian, or trustee, they accept the responsibility to fulfill certain fiduciary duties. When someone is a “fiduciary,” they have agreed to act for the benefit of another person and hold property for the benefit of that other person. While this sounds simple, a fiduciary’s duties can be extensive. For instance, the fiduciary must account to the person for whom he is a fiduciary. Likewise, he must be truthful, demonstrate the highest integrity, and place his own interests behind the interests of the person for whom he serves as fiduciary. When an executor, administrator, guardian, or trustee fails to appropriately fulfill his duties, he may be subject to litigation for the damage that he has caused by his failures.
The litigation section at Ford + Bergner LLP frequently represents parties in disputes over whether or not a fiduciary has fulfilled his fiduciary duties. While those cases can often be difficult, the experiences our attorneys have had in those cases enable us to better advise our clients who are currently serving as an executor, administrator, guardian, or trustee. By learning from the mistakes that others have made, we are able to advise our clients on the best ways to avoid those mistakes. Putting appropriate plans in place to avoid those mistakes leads to the effective administration of estates, trusts, and guardianships while reducing the risk of being sued for having agreed to serve as a fiduciary.