Failing to Disclose Conflicts of Interest As a Breach of a Fiduciary Duty
Estate planning is a crucial element in ensuring that an individual’s assets are distributed according to their wishes after death. However, this process can involve various complications regarding financial and legal matters. During estate litigation, it is not uncommon for parties to have conflicting interests that can compromise their integrity and the process as a whole.
These conflicts of interest can lead to a breach of fiduciary duty, resulting in legal consequences. If you suspect that the trustee, the personal representative of the estate, or another party failed to disclose a conflict of interest, contact Mark R. Manceri, P.A. Our Pompano Beach breach of fiduciary duty lawyer can also assist you if someone accuses you of failing to disclose a conflict of interest.
What Is a Conflict of Interest in Estate Litigation?
A conflict of interest is when a person or entity has competing interests or loyalties. In estate litigation, this can take different forms, such as a trustee who has a personal stake in the outcome of a dispute, an executor who has a business relationship with one of the heirs, or an attorney who represents both parties in a contentious matter. When a conflict of interest arises, the parties involved are required to disclose it to avoid any potential biases or prejudice. Failing to disclose such a significant matter can lead to serious legal consequences.
Who Has Fiduciary Duties in Estate Planning?
A fiduciary is a person or entity that has a legal obligation to act in the best interests of another party. In estate planning, fiduciaries can take different forms, such as personal representatives, trustees, attorneys, financial advisors, and guardians. Under Florida Statutes § 733.609, a personal representative’s fiduciary duty is the same as the duty of a trustee.
These individuals are expected to act with due care, loyalty, and impartiality towards the beneficiaries of the estate. They are also required to avoid conflicts of interest and disclose any that arise. Fiduciaries have a duty to manage the estate’s assets prudently, follow the terms of the will or trust, and protect the beneficiaries’ interests.
Is Failing to Disclose Conflicts of Interest a Breach of a Fiduciary Duty?
Failing to disclose conflicts of interest is considered a breach of fiduciary duty in estate planning. This violation can lead to legal action and impose severe consequences on the fiduciary. When a fiduciary fails to disclose a conflict of interest, it can compromise the trust or estate’s integrity and lead to biased decisions that don’t benefit the beneficiaries. In some cases, the conflict of interest can result in financial loss or harm to the beneficiaries.
To avoid this scenario, fiduciaries should disclose any conflicts of interest as soon as they arise. They should seek guidance from legal counsel or other impartial advisors to manage the conflict fairly. Additionally, fiduciaries should document all their actions and decisions to provide transparency and accountability to the beneficiaries and the court.
Get a Case Evaluation from a Lawyer
Fiduciaries play a crucial role in protecting the beneficiaries’ interests and acting with due care and loyalty. They must disclose any conflicts of interest that arise and manage them transparently and fairly. Failing to do so can constitute a breach of fiduciary duty, leading to legal consequences and financial harm to the beneficiaries. If you have questions about a breach of fiduciary duty, contact Mark R. Manceri, P.A. Call 954-491-7099 to get a case evaluation from our lawyer.