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Estate Fiduciary Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Fiduciary?

A fiduciary is a term that describes a personal representative of an estate. This person performs duties as an executor, guardian, representative, administrator, or trustee of a probate estate and must be held to a high legal or ethical standard. The fiduciary manages many aspects of a trust or estate, and he or she has an important role to uphold for the beneficiaries and from the perspective of the court. If that duty is breached in any way because of fraud or illegal behavior, injured parties could file a lawsuit to recover compensation.

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What Is a Fiduciary Duty?

A fiduciary duty happens when a beneficiary to an estate puts their trust and confidence in the person who has been named as a fiduciary to manage the legal and financial matters on their behalf. The responsibility of the fiduciary is to manage the winding up and closing of a probate estate in a legal and ethical manner.

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What Types of Responsibilities and Duties Are Maintained by a Fiduciary?

Some of the most common duties that a fiduciary is responsible for include;

  • Overseeing and preparing accountings.
  • Handling claims.
  • Paying bills.
  • Avoiding conflicts.
  • Establishing trust and loyalty.
  • Disclosing information and informing beneficiaries about legal and financial matters.
  • Winding up estate matters and closing the estate.
  • Selling and disposing of estate property and assets.

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What Qualifies as a Breach of Trust of Fiduciary Duty?

When a fiduciary does not perform his or her services in a legal or ethical manner, a fiduciary breach of trust happens. If an interested party such as a beneficiary has been legally or financially hurt because of the fiduciary breach of trust, that individual has the chance to file a legal action in a New York court against the fiduciary for breach of trust.

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What Kinds of Consequences Await Someone Who Breaches Fiduciary Duty?

A breach of fiduciary duty as illustrated through the courts could expose the fiduciary to both legal and financial liability and exposure. Furthermore, if found guilty by a court, the fiduciary could also be removed from the duties.

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What Are Some of the Most Common Examples of Breach of Fiduciary Duty?

In general, the term breach of fiduciary duty refers to a lot of different activities that can cause problems for the beneficiaries of an estate. When a fiduciary receives a monetary gain, or has a personal interest in an activity, this is an example of a breach of fiduciary duty. However, other examples include taking too much money for services they are performing, taking estate assets, and receiving financial gain or keeping them, making illegal or bad investments, causing the beneficiaries to suffer and more. If the beneficiaries in the fiduciary do not have a relationship that is built on trust and communication, financial losses or conflicts of interest can occur.

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What Do I Need to Do If I Suspect That a Fiduciary Has Breached His or Her Duty in a Relevant Case?

Having the expertise provided by a financial adviser and scheduling a consultation with an experienced estate dispute lawyer are strongly recommended. It may be difficult to craft a case of breach of fiduciary duty if you do not have an attorney who is familiar with these kinds of complex issues who can walk you through the process and advise you about your rights over the duration. Following professional advice will help to save money and may avoid probate litigation if you are able to resolve the matter outside of court. However, in the event that you cannot come to a settlement outside of court, a probate dispute attorney can help you to navigate the legal process for recovering compensation for a claim of breach of fiduciary duty.

Handling a dispute over an estate matter is a frustrating concern and one that should be managed by a helpful fiduciary duty breach lawyer.

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Client Reviews
Mr. Bilkis handled both my father and mother's estate issues through very difficult times he was compassionate kind and understanding. In fact the whole firm showed great empathy. Despite the emotional hard time we were having that quickly and efficiently handle all the matters that were necessary to get us the result we desired. Can't recommend them enough. B.B.
From the very first phone call to Stephen Bilkis' office, the staff was extremely polite and helpful in assisting me. Mr. Bilkis was honest and upfront with me from the beginning in what he projected the outcome of my case would be; in the end we got better results than either of us anticipated. He was very genuine and compassionate in understanding my situation and how this legal matter could effect not only myself but my family as well. I highly recommend this law firm and will most definitely continue using them for any future legal needs. Jarrett
Stephen has handled numerous estate matters, criminal matters and family court matters effectively and with a goal-oriented approach. He gets great results and is a results-oriented attorney. Dustin