Due to the intense emotional nature that can be associated with the transfer of wealth from one generation to another at the death of a loved one, disputes may arise between family members. When disputes arise, they can have significant financial implications for all parties involved.
The fiduciary litigation attorneys at Franke Beckett LLC in Maryland, represent both fiduciaries and beneficiaries in disputes related to trusts and wills. If you are a trustee, guardian, beneficiary, executor, personal representative, or other interested party, we will work diligently to see that your interests are protected with regard to claims relating to the administration of estates and trusts.
What is a fiduciary?
A fiduciary is a person who is acting on behalf of another party with regard to that second party’s interests in property, such as in the case of a trustee acting on behalf of the beneficiaries of a trust or a personal representative acting on behalf of the beneficiaries of a probate estate. This person owes a high duty of care to the other party and must act loyally, in the best interest of that person when conducting financial transactions and managing the property. If you fail to perform your responsibilities within the standard of care, you may be held legally liable for your actions or inactions.
Representing Beneficiaries in Actions against Fiduciaries
A fiduciary must make efforts to ensure that his or her actions are for the purposes of protecting the assets and advancing the beneficiaries’ interests. Unfortunately, there may be times when this person will knowingly abuse his or her powers to further personal interests or will make a costly mistake by imprudently managing assets. When this happens, the beneficiaries have legal rights that we can help them to enforce, such as petitioning the court to place someone else in charge or seeking reimbursement for losses caused by the actions or inactions of the fiduciary.
Representing Fiduciaries against Claims by Beneficiaries
On the other hand, due to the emotions that these types of situations may cause within families, there are times when fiduciaries must defend their decisions even though they have performed their job in accordance with their instructions. When this happens, this person requires the assistance of an experienced Maryland, estates and trusts law firm to ensure that he or she is protected from false allegations of misconduct.
Trustees and personal representatives are under an immense amount of scrutiny as they discharge their many responsibilities and duties. As a personal representative for an estate, you must complete an inventory, value assets, review claims, pay debts, distribute assets, and, in some cases, manage assets during the probate process until those assets can be distributed to heirs. Trustees face similar challenges as they invest money, manage assets, and make distributions to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the trust. In some cases, unhappy family members who are simply not pleased with the terms may make such allegations even if you have met your obligations. If this is the case, you must have legal representation to protect you against these false allegations.
What Types of Cases Arise from a Fiduciary’s Duty to the Estate or Trust?
Because there are a variety of things that can go wrong in the administration of a trust or an estate, our attorneys handle a diverse assortment of fiduciary litigation cases. Some cases are far more complex than others; however, even less complex cases may require legal help. We have successfully litigated countless estates- and trusts-related issues; we have the necessary experience that you need.
Examples of matters that we have handled include:
- Removal of a fiduciary
- Will contests
- Guardianship litigation
- Trust or Will construction
Contact an Experienced Maryland Fiduciary Litigation Attorney
The Franke Beckett LLC represents clients throughout Maryland, who are considering initiating litigation against a fiduciary as well as fiduciaries who are facing litigation. Because this can be a very lengthy and costly process, our attorneys will work to mediate and settle the dispute whenever possible to save you time and money. However, we are fully prepared to present a thorough and aggressive argument in court to protect your rights and financial interests, if a court proceeding is ultimately appropriate.
If you are considering filing a lawsuit with regard to an estate or trust issue, contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. Our goal is to help you resolve your conflicts in the manner that most benefits you.