Losing a loved one is stressful enough. But an already emotionally complex situation can become even more difficult when you’re hundreds of miles away and dealing with the probate process. Whether you’ve been named as an executor or trustee, or you’re a beneficiary, navigating this complicated area of the law can be nightmarish, especially when things seem disorganized and chaotic.
Signs that the fiduciary duty is being breached
Regardless of your role in the situation, you need to be aware of some key points so that you can protect yourself and your interests. Amongst those points is the fiduciary duty and signs that it has been breached. In short, the fiduciary is someone who must put the priorities of another individual first. This is the case for trustees and other estate administrators. Signs that the fiduciary duty might be breached include:
- Poor accounting practices
- Missing assets
- Unexplained financial transactions
- The estate’s assets have been commingled with the fiduciary’s assets
- Certain beneficiaries and creditors are being favored over others
If you’re acting as an administrator or a trustee, then you need to make sure that you’re avoiding these practices. Your accounting and justifications must be accurate and clear, and you must act in an unbiased fashion.
If, on the other hand, you’re a beneficiary and you spot these red flags, then you need to start asking questions and gathering documentation. After all, legal action may be necessary to recoup what has been wrongfully taken from the estate.
You can successfully navigate probate and probate litigation
We know that dealing with probate and probate litigation can be confusing and stressful. But you don’t have to face the process alone. Instead, you can surround yourself with supportive individuals and professionals who know how to navigate these issues. Hopefully then you can get through the process while protecting your interests as well as the vision that your loved one created with his or her estate plan.