Claims Against Fiduciaries
Under the Florida law, trustees and personal representatives of decedents’ estates (as well as holders of Powers of Attorney) have generally similar fiduciary duties, meaning that their conduct on behalf of beneficiaries, heirs, devisees, and in some cases even creditors must conform to rather strict standards. The primary duty binding on a fiduciary is to put the interests of the beneficiary first.
If you have an interest in a Florida trust or estate that you believe is threatened by the negligent or dishonest performance of the trustee or personal representative, or if you serve in a fiduciary capacity and need advice about your exposure to liability in a specific situation, we can assist you in these matters. Our familiarity with a wide range of claims and defenses relating to the duties of a fiduciary under Florida probate law can help you resolve problems while protecting your interests.
We represent both people concerned about the possibility of a breach of fiduciary duty as it might affect their interests, and the fiduciaries who need to defend themselves against allegations of improper conduct. We can handle either side of fiduciary duty cases alleging such improprieties as the following:
- Failure to render regular accountings
- Failure to make prudent investments
- Favoring one beneficiary over another
- Commingling of trust or estate assets with the fiduciary’s personal assets
- Failure to get fair value upon the sale or liquidation of trust or estate assets
- Waste of assets through negligent management or maintenance
- Abuse of a power of attorney with respect to financial or medical treatment decisions
- Overcharging for services
- Undisclosed conflicts of interest or self-dealing
- Theft or misappropriation of trust or estate funds
Trustees, personal representatives, guardians, conservators, or sometimes even joint tenants can all be held liable for breach of fiduciary duty under circumstances such as those outlined above, if the relationship and legal elements of the charge are properly proved. Our lawyers’ experience with the investigation and presentation of evidence on these issues can represent a significant advantage for our clients, whether they are asserting or defending these claims.