Serving the Legal Needs of Northern Virginia Since 1978

Executor/Trustee/Fiduciary Misconduct

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Fiduciary Misconduct Claims in Northern Virginia

The personal representative of a will — and the trustee of a trust — are those persons appointed under a document or pursuant to a law to be responsible for the assets named in the will or the administration of the assets in the trust. Such individuals are essentially "guardians" of the estate, and have a fiduciary duty to beneficiaries to handle their duties with diligence and care.

When they fail to do so, or are believed to have failed, a formal complaint may be brought, claiming fiduciary misconduct and demanding payment of lost assets from the executor's or trustee's personal assets. The complaint may be brought before a state administrative office called the Commissioners of Accounts, or in some cases a civil lawsuit may be filed.

Estate and Trust Litigation in Fairfax County:
Hale Ball

For more than 25 years, the law firm of Hale Ball has provided powerful and protective legal representation to residents of our local communities who are involved in legal disputes. We have an active estate litigation practice led by Kimberley A. Murphy, and we are regularly called upon to handle claims of fiduciary misconduct — either on behalf of the challenger or the executor or trustee. Our team of attorneys include lawyers with advanced trial experience and extensive knowledge of Virginia's laws of estate and trusts.

What Does Fiduciary Duty Mean?

Fiduciary duty is a legal concept describing the relationship of trust on the one hand and responsibility on the other hand between two or more people — one with responsibility for money and other assets that are for the benefit of the other person. Every personal representative of a will has a fiduciary duty to the will's beneficiaries. Every trustee has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of the trust.

Fiduciary duty requires the responsible party to act with regard to the assets in ways that show loyalty solely to the beneficiary's interests. Examples of fiduciary misconduct include mis-spending of funds, mishandling of funds, failure to comply with prudent investor rules.

To bring a fiduciary misconduct complaint requires filing formal objections or a claim with the Commissioners of Accounts, which is followed by a debts and demands hearing at which the inventory or accounting is examined and a decision is made.

Contact Hale Ball, for More Information

Often, early intervention in claims of fiduciary misconduct can aid early — and cost-effective — resolution. If you have questions about fiduciary misconduct — as a personal representative, trustee or beneficiary — contact our office to schedule a confidential consultation.

Call 703-962-1164 or send us an e-mail.




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