If you are an executor of an estate or an administrator of a trust, you are considered a fiduciary. In either position you are required by law to ethically fulfill your fiduciary duties which are:
- Impartiality—not favoring one party over the other.
- Undivided loyalty—not conflicting your own interests with the interests of the parties of the trust, will or estate.
- To administer the trust, will or estate faithfully with care and good sense.
If you fail to carry out your fiduciary duties properly you could find yourself facing a lawsuit over breach of fiduciary duty.
You can be held personally liable for breach of fiduciary duty
Being an executor or administrator of a trust, will, or estate is a serious responsibility and failures to ethically carry out your duties can land you in hot water. In the event of a breach you can be held personally liable to the damaged party and possibly charged criminally. So it is vital to keep thorough records and document all income and expenses relative to the estate.
Actions that could get you in trouble as a fiduciary include:
- Investing estate funds in a venture in which you have a financial interest
- Commingling your funds with the funds of the estate
- Conflicts of interest
- Making risky investments
- Arbitrary decisions about distributions to beneficiaries or payments to creditors
Talk to an estate attorney about your fiduciary duties today
Properly navigating the duties of a fiduciary can be complex and confusing and often requires the help of an experienced Long Island estate attorney. The Law Offices of Bonnie Lawston has successfully helped clients with breach of fiduciary claims such as:
mismanagement or misappropriation of assets
failure to account, fraud, conflicts of interest
failure to distribute assets
improper distribution of assets, and other claims.
If you have questions about how to fulfill your fiduciary duties contact our office online or call (877) 581-8498 today.
Previously posted in 2014