Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Catalyst routinely represents fiduciaries and beneficiaries in proceedings involving allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, violations of the prudent investor rule, and other claims of malfeasance. Conduct that may constitute a breach of fiduciary duty for which a surcharge may be imposed includes:
- Failure to invest or imprudently investing trust or estate assets
- Failure to provide comprehensive, accurate, and timely reports and/or accountings to beneficiaries
- Failure to make timely distributions
- Failure to notify creditors of a probate proceeding
As fiduciaries, a number of duties are imposed on trustees and personal representatives (also known as executors). In the context of investment strategy for trust assets, what one beneficiary may consider prudent may be viewed as too conservative by another beneficiary (and too risky by yet a third). However, under certain circumstances, a breach of fiduciary duty by a trustee could be more clear.
For instance, in the case of a fiduciary who served as trustee of trusts for his siblings, he impulsively invested 100% of the trust assets in his girlfriend’s start-up venture. He had never met his girlfriend in person, but only knew her through an online dating app. After only a few short months, the girlfriend stopped communicating with the trustee, changed her phone number, and closed the business. The trustee lost all of the trust assets for not only himself, but his siblings.
Catalyst recognizes the benefit of resolving a breach of fiduciary duty discreetly and amicably, and we use our best efforts to achieve our clients’ goals outside of litigation. We are, however, fully prepared to take to trial any issues that cannot be resolved through settlement.
We welcome inquiries regarding our services. If you suspect a breach of fiduciary duty, schedule a Complimentary 15-Minute Case Evaluation to learn more about legal representation in proceedings involving breach of fiduciary duty claims, whether through negotiation, mediation, or trial.