There may not be anything that is as unpleasant to deal with as a dishonest executor or trustee. These positions carry a special duty of trust and responsibility to the people who are beneficiaries under wills and trusts. They are known as "fiduciaries," and if you have reason to believe that an executor or trustee has breached their fiduciary duty, you need the legal advice and counsel of our probate attorneys.
At Pedder, Hesseltine, Walker & Toth, LLP, we represent clients in a wide array of legal matters, including estate planning and probate. Our Lafayette, California, undue influence lawyers will work tirelessly to defend your rights against the dishonesty or errors by family members or others who seek to take advantage of the system. Contact our law firm online or call 925-297-6179 (888-355-4093 toll free) for a free 30 minute consultation.
A Breach by an Executor or Trustee Requires Immediate Legal Action
The fiduciary duties that executors and trustees are charged with include acting with the highest integrity, fully disclosing all pertinent information to the beneficiaries, completing their reporting duties to the court, dealing equally and fairly with all beneficiaries and subordinating their interests to those of the beneficiaries. Specific examples of fiduciary duties on the part of a trustee or executor can include:
- Full disclosure of assets: Any failure to properly disclose the assets of the estate whether by fraud or omission, as well as any disbursements made to the trustee or executor before disclosure of the assets to the beneficiaries, constitutes breach.
- Conducting a complete accounting of the estate or trust: An inventory, appraisals, costs and balances, and a final accounting of how assets were disbursed is also a fiduciary duty.
- Acting in the best interests of the beneficiaries: Any self-dealing or other conflict of interest, failure to carefully evaluate debts, failure to obtain full fair market value for property sold or using poor business judgment constitutes breach.
- Distribution of assets: Embezzlement, misappropriation, outright theft or any other failure to distribute the assets of the estate or trust as dictated by law constitutes a fiduciary breach.
Filing a Petition for Removal
If you believe that the trustee or executor of a loved one's estate is in breach of his or her duty, it is imperative that you move quickly to have them removed. At Pedder, Hesseltine, Walker & Toth, LLP, our attorneys have decades of experience in handling these delicate matters. After investigating the claim and compiling your statement and other evidence, we will file a motion with the probate court to have the trustee or executor removed from their position. If tangible injury has already occurred to you and the other beneficiaries, we will file suit to reclaim what is rightfully yours.
Contact Our Bay Area Estate Planning and Litigation Law Firm Today
If you believe that a trustee or executor is in breach of their fiduciary duties to you as a beneficiary of a trust or will, do not delay in seeking out the help of our experienced estate planning and litigation lawyers. Contact us online or call 925-297-6179 (888-355-4093 toll free) for a free 30 minute consultation.