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Challenging a trustee’s breach of fiduciary duties

A central component of any well-considered estate planning is choosing an individual or an organization to represent your interests after you are deceased. For example, many people elect to choose their estate planning attorney as the executor of their wills. Others who have considerable wealth and property may establish a trust and appoint trustees to manage over those interests. These arrangements usually work out favorably with regard to the interests of the deceased. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

In some instances people or organizations will abuse their authority to enrich themselves at the expense of the very parties who have entrusted them to preserve their estates. It's important for you to know that New York recognizes that the executors, trustees and other people tasked with carrying out a decedent's interest have established a fiduciary duty with the decedent's estate. In an earlier article on our website's blog we discussed how the term of fiduciary is somewhat broad. Accountants, bankers, financial advisers can all be considered as having a fiduciary duty to an estate if they are relied on to make decisions affecting the estate.

You need to know that New York has laws that hold fiduciaries to very high standards. These rules exist precisely because of the great reliance people place on fiduciaries to carry out their wishes and support their estates after they are gone or otherwise incapable of performing those duties themselves. If you suspect that someone or an organization is not meeting those high standards then you may need to consult with a New York estate planning attorney. An attorney can review the facts and determine whether a challenge may be in order.

Based in Rochester, our law firm has been providing experienced estate-planning advocacy for clients throughout northwestern New York. Prospective clients should know that there is no fee for clients to meet with one of our attorneys for an initial case consultation.

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