How to Prove Breach of Fiduciary Duty in a Florida Trust Case?
A breach of fiduciary duty means that someone holding a fiduciary position acts in a manner that is in conflict with their duties. This breach of duty can result in serious legal consequences. In the case of a Trust, the fiduciary is the trustee who owes a duty to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. If the trustee acts in a manner that benefits them or another party, they have breached their fiduciary duty.
If you are a Trust beneficiary and you believe the trustee has breached their fiduciary duty, it’s time to contact an experienced Pompano Beach breach of fiduciary duties attorney.
Trustees Have Fiduciary Duties
When someone creates their Trust, they will name someone to serve as the Trustee, and then they will name one or more beneficiaries. The Trustee will be the one who holds legal title to the property in the Trust, while the beneficiaries will hold equitable title to that same property. The Trust will outline triggering events. When one of those events takes place, the Trustee will transfer the legal title to the specified beneficiaries.
Until a triggering event takes place, the property is held in the Trust. This is when the trustee is supposed to monitor everything and to honor all duties and obligations to the Trust’s beneficiaries. There is no set time on how long someone will be a trustee. In some cases, it may only be a couple of months, while in other cases, it might be years.
In the meantime, the trustee’s job is to manage the property. This can include investing it into something else, or just maintaining it so it does not lose its value. When the trustee doesn’t honor their duties, it can result in loss of value.
How a Trustee Breaches Their Fiduciary Duty?
There are several ways a trustee can breach their duty. The first is through self-dealing. Self-dealing is when a Trustee enriches themselves at the expense of the Trust and its beneficiaries. The second way is due to a conflict of interest. With a conflict of interest scenario, the trustee is acting in a manner that contradicts the best interests of the trust’s beneficiaries.
Removal of a Trustee
To have a Trustee removed for breach of fiduciary duty, you first need to retain an experienced Florida Trust litigation attorney. At Mark R. Manceri, P.A., we specialize in cases like a trustee removal. We will pursue a Court order that forces the trustee to complete a full formal accounting. This requires the trustee to document everything they’ve done and every dollar they’ve spent during their time as a trustee.
If a judge determines the trustee did breach their duty, they could be required to pay back the trust for what was lost. Depending on how egregious the breach was, the judge may opt to remove the trustee from their position.
Contact a Florida Trust Litigation Attorney
If you need assistance with a trustee who has breached their fiduciary duties, contact Mark R. Manceri, P.A. today to schedule an initial consultation.