How do fiduciary breaches of duty happen with probate?

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2024 | Probate |

Navigating the intricate landscape of probate can be a huge task. In the legal realm, a fiduciary relationship demands the highest standard of trust and loyalty.

Unfortunately, in the probate process, sometimes breaches can occur, as well as serious consequences. These may include financial penalties or even removal of the person from their role. Knowing what constitutes a breach is important for anyone starting the process of probate.

Mismanagement of assets

One common breach involves the mismanagement of assets belonging to the dead person’s estate. Executors, who have the responsibility of safeguarding these assets, may fall short.

From overlooking investment opportunities to misusing funds, mismanagement can lead to financial losses. This can leave heirs with smaller inheritances.

Failure to communicate transparently

Open communication is the lifeblood of a fiduciary relationship. When executors fail to provide clear, honest updates to beneficiaries, problems can happen.

Lapses in transparency can create an environment of mistrust, creating disputes among heirs. Timely and straightforward communication is important.

Conflicts of interest

Fiduciaries must prioritize the interests of the estate and its beneficiaries above their own. However, conflicts of interest can emerge when personal gain takes precedence. Whether through self-dealing transactions or favoritism towards specific beneficiaries, conflicts hurt the foundation of trust.

Neglected legal responsibilities

Probate comes with a set of legal obligations that fiduciaries must follow. Failing to fulfill these responsibilities, such as filing required documents or paying outstanding debts, can result in legal repercussions.

Americans have a life expectancy of 76.4 years as of 2021. When a death happens, executors must approach their duties with utmost care. Fiduciaries need to uphold the trust placed in them and create a smoother journey for all involved parties.