Trustees and estate executors are instilled with large responsibilities. By the nature of their role, they are tasked with putting the interests of the estate and its beneficiaries first. That might sound easy enough, but all too often allegations are made that these fiduciaries breach their duty, which can lead to extensive probate litigation.
Indicators that the fiduciary duty may have been breached
Regardless of whether you’re a trustee or an heir or beneficiary, you need to know what signs trigger concerns about breach of the fiduciary duty. This includes each of the following:
- Mixed assets: If a fiduciary commingles their assets with those from the estate, then it’s hard to discern where the estate’s assets begin and end. This is often a sign that the fiduciary is trying to convert estate assets for their own personal use.
- Poor record keeping: A fiduciary should keep detailed records of asset distributions and investments. If those records are missing or incomplete, then that might be taken as a sign that the fiduciary is trying to cover their tracks after engaging in wrongdoing.
- Conflicts of interest: A fiduciary needs to act fairly in accordance with its duties. But sometimes a fiduciary is accused of favoring one beneficiary over the other or showing favoritism toward certain creditors. This can constitute a breach, thereby justifying legal action.
Know how to handle your probate issues
Probate issues related to estate administration can be complex and high stakes. That’s why as you prepare to engage in your legal matters, you need to be as prepared as possible. To do so, educate yourself on the law and gain a command of the facts. Hopefully, then you’ll be able to craft the compelling arguments you need to protect your interests.