A fiduciary is a person who has some legal and ethical responsibilities to another individual or group of people. While fiduciaries can be professionals like attorneys or accountants, they can also be anyone who has been named as an executor of a will, a trustee of a trust or as holding any position that involves managing assets for the benefit of another party.

A breach of fiduciary duties can occur in various ways during probate, our Pueblo probate attorneys explain. Here’s what you should know about breach of fiduciary duties.

A breach of fiduciary duties can occur in various ways during probate, our Pueblo probate attorneys explain. Here’s what you should know about breach of fiduciary duties.

When fiduciaries fail to live up to their responsibilities, they will have breached these duties (or a breach of fiduciary duties will have occurred).

Given that the position of a fiduciary comes with some important obligations and that fiduciaries are necessarily involved in the probate process, this blog series will focus on pointing out some of the most important things to know about fiduciaries and, in particular, the breach of fiduciary duties.

If you are a fiduciary who has been accused of breaching your duties – or if you are someone who believes that a fiduciary has breached his or her duties to you, contact the trusted Trinidad and Pueblo probate attorneys at Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth. We can help you resolve breach of fiduciary disputes as favorably and efficiently as possible.

Important Info about Breach of Fiduciary Duties

Fact 1 – Breach of fiduciary duties can occur in various ways.

Generally, fiduciaries duties involve the duty to:

  1. Be impartial (i.e. not favor any one party over any other)
  2. Be loyal (i.e., put their own interests aside while they serve the interests of the trust, estate, etc.)
  3. Administer a will or trust with reasonable care and prudence.

In practice, however, breach of fiduciary duties can occur in all sorts of ways during probate, with only some of these ways including:

  • Favoring certain beneficiaries (or other parties) over others
  • Comingling personal assets with the assets of an estate
  • Stealing from an estate
  • Making risky or imprudent investments with the assets of an estate
  • Failing to keep detailed accounts/records for the estate
  • Misrepresenting the status of the estate.

Fact 2 – Intentional negligence isn’t necessary to prove that a breach of fiduciary duties has occurred.

This is an interesting fact about breach of fiduciary duties because it reveals that fiduciaries can be held accountable for making mistakes and not taking the appropriate precautions to avoid them.

In other words, it’s not a viable defense for a fiduciary to say that he “didn’t know” about certain obligations or “wasn’t aware” of how to carry out these responsibilities.  He can still be held accountable for unintentional negligence that leads to breach of fiduciary duties.

Be sure to check out the two upcoming parts of this blog series for some more important facts about breach of fiduciary duties.

Trinidad and Pueblo Probate Attorneys at Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth

Do you need help probating or administering an estate? If so, the Trinidad and Pueblo probate attorneys at Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth are ready to provide you with the highest quality legal services.

To learn more about our superior legal services and how we can assist you, contact us by calling (719) 556- 8844 or by emailing us using the contact form on this page. From our offices based in Pueblo, we represent clients in Trinidad, La Jara, Lamar, Walsenburg, Alamosa and throughout the state of Colorado.

Categories: Colorado Probate