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Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Breach of Fiduciary duty occurs when a fiduciary fails to maintain or preserve a fiduciary obligation. In regards to Elder Law, breach agents(named under a Power of Attorney document) of Fiduciary Duty involves uncovering the act of negligence or bad faith perpetuated on elders by money managers, financial advisors, stock brokers, trustees, caregivers, or even guardians. Unfortunately, breach of Fiduciary Duty is one of many forms in which abuse of the elderly becomes manifest because of their vulnerable condition. Because a Fiduciary relationship can be hard to validate under the law, you may need the assistance of a competent Elder Law attorney to prove that a breach of Fiduciary Duty has been committed.

The Miller Elder Law Firm takes special interest and genuine care in the rights of the elderly and help their clients protect and defend the integrity and property of their loved ones. The Miller Elder Law Firm will provide you with zealous and experienced legal representation to meet your legal needs.

Call The Miller Elder Law Firm today for a free initial consultation at (352) 379-1900 or contact us online (millerelderlawfirm.com).

Understanding Fiduciary Duty

A Fiduciary Duty is a legal or ethical relationship of confidence or trust between two or more parties. For example, an attorney has a Fiduciary Duty to a client because the attorney must honor the client’s interests and legal needs. When an individual believes a party has failed to honor a fiduciary duty, it is said that such Fiduciary Duty has been “breached.” However, not just any suspicion may justify such charges. A breach of Fiduciary Duty must be comprised by the following elements:

The fiduciary: The party who assumes a trustee-like position with discretionary power over the interests of another individual. The fiduciary must knowingly accept that trust and the confidence to exercise his expertise and discretion to act on the client’s behalf.
The fiduciary relationship: A Fiduciary Duty arises expressly by contract when the parties specifically agree to a relationship. Examples of fiduciary relationships include: attorney-client, guardian-ward, trustee-beneficiary, broker-client, among others. A fiduciary relationship may also be implied in law regardless of the existence of formal writings, when one party relies on another to act on the party’s behalf and look out for its best interests. This requires proper factual allegations to prove such dependency since one cannot unilaterally create and impose a fiduciary relationship on another individual.
The fiduciary obligation: A Fiduciary Duty is the highest standard of care at law and is characterized by the following:

  • The fiduciary relationship involves a special trust, confidence, and reliance on the fiduciary to exercise his discretion or expertise in acting for the client.
  • The law forbids the fiduciary from acting in any manner adverse or contrary to the interests of the client, or from acting for his own benefit in relation to the subject matter.
  • The client is entitled to the best efforts of the fiduciary on his behalf, and the fiduciary must exercise all of the skill, care, and diligence at his disposal when acting on behalf of the client.
  • A person acting in a fiduciary capacity is held to a high standard of honesty and full disclosure with regard to the client, and must not obtain a personal benefit at the expense of the client.
  • A fiduciary must put the interests of the beneficiary first, ahead of the fiduciary’s self interest, and to refrain from exploiting the relationship for the fiduciary’s personal benefit.

Many elderly individuals enter into fiduciary relationships, such as with Trustees or Attorneys in Fact, to manage their cash and properties. If you suspect the fiduciary of a loved one has failed to honor the obligations mandated by law in a Fiduciary Duty, you need competent attorneys who are able to manage the burden of proof.
Protect the interests and the integrity of your loved one today by contacting the attorneys at the Miller Elder Law Firm, PA by calling (352) 379-1900 or contact us online (millerelderlawfirm.com).