Fiduciary Litigation Attorneys in Pearland Defending Your Estate
Putting the right person in place to manage your estate when you can’t, whether you are unable due to medical incapacity or death, is the single most important decision you can make when creating an estate plan.
How this task ties to fiduciary litigation is a direct result or outcome of hiring the wrong person to manage your estate and fiduciary needs, which comes with high standards and ethical responsibilities.
This is one of the decisions at The Hatchett Law Firm we emphasize as part of the estate planning process. We do everything in our power to help you and your family members prepare and protect your future and avoid costly pitfalls and traps that might lead to fiduciary litigation.
Even when you take all of the right steps, fiduciary disputes can happen where people and money are involved. And that’s where The Hatchett Law Firm comes in.
When it comes to fiduciary disputes related to wills, trusts, estates, and other related issues, we have the needed insights and nearly 30 years of collective experience across our team handling sensitive estate and probate cases to prevent unnecessary legal troubles and prepare you for success at trial.
What is a Fiduciary?
A fiduciary takes on many forms through different roles and responsibilities inherent to an estate plan. Also known as a trustee, executor, or administrator, this person is legally responsible and obligated to make decisions on your behalf, according to your final wishes.
Whether as the executor of your estate or your agent named in power of attorney documents, a fiduciary role affords a person the power and control to make decisions about your money, property, or other assets. In this highly visible and critical position, the person you choose should have integrity, be trustworthy, honest, capable, and reliable.
There are different types of fiduciaries, with varying degrees of power and considerations:
- An executor handles your estate after your death and executes your will, distributes assets, pays off debts, and files tax returns.
- A trustee manages the property and money in a trust, as you designate. This could include making decisions while you’re alive if you become incapacitated or after your death.
- Designation as an agent under a power of attorney gives a fiduciary full reign over your account transactions, retirement accounts, social security, and pensions, among other things.
The Hatchett Law Firm will help you understand fiduciary roles, responsibilities, and consequences of poor fiduciary management. And when fiduciary-related disputes arise, we also can be that reliable partner and resource in litigation when your assets are at stake.
What is a Fiduciary Breach?
When a person fails to follow the standards set for legal fiduciary responsibilities in accordance with the law, these actions could be considered a breach of fiduciary duty and are likely punishable in a court of law to varying degrees, with penalties ranging from compensatory damages to jail time or both.
A trustee or executor might breach their fiduciary duties through fraud, conflicts of interest for personal financial gain, self-dealing, or failure to comply with transparent and open reporting and communication with the administration of a trust or probate estate.
To provide more context, an executor might use the estate plan to funnel personal and business funds into their own accounts. Or, a trustee might invest estate funds in an aggressive investment fund and lose money, which goes against the fiduciary code of conduct. These are just a few examples.
Causing loss or harm through wrongful acts, deceitfully acquiring funds, or refusing to comply with contractual obligations are just a few ways a fiduciary might abuse his or her power. A fiduciary breach can cause serious ramifications to the person mismanaging your estate or your assets, and its effects can result in losses and costly legal headaches that spill into every aspect of your or your family’s life.
The Hatchett Law Firm can review your case and offer potential solutions to prevent any further harm to your current situation, finances, life, or business. We will protect your rights and hold the fiduciary personally liable and responsible for damages and compensation as a result of any losses.
How Can a Fiduciary Litigation Lawyer Help Me?
When a fiduciary fails to hold up their contractual obligations related to your estate or assets, it’s our job to hold them to a high legal standard for their unethical actions. On the other hand, if you are assuming fiduciary responsibility, we can help you comply with your legal duties and the specific laws that apply.
Breaches of conduct and fiduciary claims range from minor to severe and can cause frustration and disruption to your family, life, and business. Fiduciary duty claims that might arise as a result of poor fiduciary management or mismanagement could include:
- Neglect of guardianship requests
- Lack of consistent communication with the administration or beneficiaries, as defined in the estate
- Lack of record or continuous accounting of trust activity
- Aggressive investments and loss of money, as a result
- Poor financial decisions
- Mismanagement of trust or property
- Late taxes and increases in fees or penalties
- Conflicts of interest
- Theft of property or funneling funds into personal or business accounts
When a clear estate plan loses clarity and causes chaos for the beneficiaries in life, business, or both, our fiduciary litigation attorneys can work with you to resolve these matters, navigate disputes, or prevent issues should they be caught head-on.
How do I Get Help with My Fiduciary Litigation Case?
A fiduciary is a special legal role with high standards and ethical responsibilities. If you believe something is amiss with your fiduciary partner, you have the right to request a full account of the management and operations of your loved one’s estate.
To give you comfort and peace of mind, despite an unfortunate situation, The Hatchett Law Firm is a compassionate, driven, and savvy team of estate planning and fiduciary litigation attorneys with detailed knowledge of estate planning, probate, and fiduciary litigation.
With grit and determination, our fiduciary litigation attorneys will defend and protect your rights through litigation of will contests, guardianship contests and related matters, heirship contests, breach of duty actions, general civil litigation needs, and mediation.
As part of uncovering the truth and resolving issues with your estate, we will fight for financial compensation, recovery of losses, damages, and the justice you deserve. We can help you understand the estate planning process, minimize potential risks and navigate the best plan and path forward for your estate, especially when litigation is needed to course-correct.
The Hatchett Law Firm and our seasoned team of estate planning and fiduciary litigation attorneys can provide solutions for proactively planning for your future, safeguarding your assets, and recovering your losses through litigation.
Don’t hesitate if you or a loved one are a victim of a fiduciary breach. Book a free consultation today: 281-214-6541.