Fiduciary Matters

The individual who is appointed as executor, administrator or trustee, as well as a person who is assigned a power of attorney, is known as a fiduciary. A fiduciary has a duty to manage the assets of the estate or trust and that duty is a serious responsibility that requires a high level of honesty and integrity. If the appointed fiduciary fails to act in compliance with the standard of responsibility required by law, either by neglect or self dealing and greed, there are grounds to have the fiduciary removed. If, as an heir, beneficiary or trustee of a deceased individual you feel that a fiduciary has not performed the required duties in an effective way, or if you have a dispute with the fiduciary, our attorneys are experienced and skilled at having the fiduciary removed and surcharged.

At the law firm of Sweeney, Reich & Bolz LLP, our lawyers provide representation for both beneficiaries and fiduciaries involved in proceedings against fiduciaries. Whether the fiduciary is acting in a corrupt or incompetent manner, or if the issues stem from strained family relationships, our attorneys are knowledgeable attorneys who will zealously advocate for our client’s interests and rights. Since a fiduciary often is unable to please everyone who stands to benefit, there is frequently anger or frustration directed at a fiduciary who is acting honestly and fulfilling their duties responsibly. Whatever the situation, a revocation proceeding may be the result. It is important to have attorneys who fully understand the legal nuances of a revocation proceeding.

There are a number of reasons that the court can decide to remove a fiduciary, including:

  • Conflict of interest
  • Violation of court orders
  • Failure to obtain court approval for actions
  • Accounting errors and risky investment decisions
  • Mismanagement of a family business
  • Obstructing of the administration of the estate or trust

 

Personally profiting from fiduciary transactions

In some ways, the removal of a fiduciary is the result of a failure of the estate planning process and cannot be avoided. Moreover, many of the reasons to remove a fiduciary are difficult to establish. People seeking to have a fiduciary or trustee removed should consult an attorney with experience in Surrogate’s Court and an understanding of the process. The same considerations apply to fiduciaries who are targets of removal proceedings. They require effective and aggressive advocacy to protect the estate or trust. The attorneys at Sweeney, Reich & Bolz LLP have been successfully handling these matters since 1986 and are skilled in conducting this type of litigation on behalf of both petitioners and respondents.

In addition to providing representation in fiduciary removal proceedings, our lawyers assist individuals and families to identify and select the right fiduciary to reduce the risk of having to participate in removal proceedings. Whatever the circumstances you are faced with, Sweeney, Reich & Bolz LLP is dedicated to protecting our clients’ interests in matters relating to the appointment and removal of fiduciaries.