San Jose Probate Lawyer
It is a significant undertaking to serve as a personal representative (executor or administrator) in probate court, or as a trustee. In all matters related to the trust or estate, you must put the interests of the beneficiaries or heirs before your own.
When difficulties arise, it is unfortunately the trustee or personal representative who is often held responsible. The family may allege fraud, mismanagement or breach of fiduciary duty. They may seek to have you removed from your position.
If you are facing allegations of breach of fiduciary duty or other misbehavior and are facing a removal petition, discuss your concerns with an experienced probate litigation attorney at The Law Offices of Kai H. Wessels.
We have extensive experience and success representing trustees, personal representatives and other fiduciaries in California. Contact us today to discuss your situation.
Fraud, mismanagement of breach of fiduciary duty
Trustees and personal representatives have fiduciary duties which include acting with the highest integrity, fully disclosing information to the beneficiaries, completing reporting duties appropriately, dealing with all beneficiaries equally and fairly, and putting beneficiaries' interests above their own. Breach of fiduciary duty may involve:
- Failure to disclose assets: Intentionally hiding assets, failing to document assets on inventory or annual accounting, or making disbursements to yourself before disclosing the assets to beneficiaries
- Failure to properly complete accounting, which includes the starting figures (inventory and appraisals), costs and balances, and final account of how assets were disbursed
- Failure to act in the best interest of beneficiaries: Failure to carefully evaluate debts to ensure their validity before disbursing payment, failing to obtain full fair market value for property sold, using poor business judgment or having a conflict of interest
- Failure to properly distribute assets: Stealing assets (fraud), failing to distribute according to the terms of the trust or will or the intestate succession laws, failing to obtain proof that assets were actually distributed
Petitions for removal
When facing probate litigation involving potential removal from your position for mismanagement, fraud or breach of fiduciary duty, an experienced attorney can provide the direction and support needed to put forward your strongest defense.
Contact The Law Offices of Kai H. Wessels in San Jose, California today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your probate litigation concerns with an experienced lawyer. Our firm provides the sound advice and strategy needed to successfully manage your legal needs.