Fiduciary Litigation

A fiduciary is someone who has assumed a position of trust vis a vis another person.  A trustee of a trust is in a fiduciary role with respect to the trust’s beneficiaries.  The personal representative of an estate (an executor, an administrator) is in a fiduciary role with respect to the beneficiaries of the estate.  An agent under a power of attorney is in a fiduciary role with respect to the person who granted the power of attorney (the principal).

A fiduciary must act in the best interests of the person he serves.  A fiduciary is held to a higher standard that a non-fiduciary.  A fiduciary must think only of his beneficiary (or other person he serves).  A fiduciary must act always to promote the best interests of that person—and never to act in the interests of himself, to the detriment of that person.

Not surprisingly, sometimes a fiduciary fails to fulfill his fiduciary duty, either intentionally—or because he was not aware of what his responsibilities were.  Sometimes this failure leads to litigation between the fiduciary and the person to whom he owed this duty.

For example, fiduciary litigation can involve a dispute between the trustee of the trust, and one or more of the trust beneficiaries. A trust is often in existence for a period of years.  The trustee is usually required to render an accounting to the trust beneficiaries.  Sometimes a beneficiary believes that the trustee has not managed the trust appropriately.  That beneficiary might object to the accounting and seek a remedy to correct the error(s) made by the trustee.