In addition to handling probate, trust administration, and preparation of all types of trusts, we often get inquiries from heirs and beneficiaries with concerns about the way an executor, administrator, or trustee is administering an estate in San Diego. Sometimes beneficiaries cannot get an accounting of the trust assets. Sometimes they have issues with the distribution of assets. In some cases, they may have suspicions that the individual handling the estate is self-dealing or guilty of outright fraud.
The executor, administrator or trustee of an estate has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries. This means that they must act with the highest degree of honesty and integrity. They have certain duties under the law that they must fulfill. Among those duties are the duty to collect and protect the assets; duty not to commingle estate assets; and a duty to be impartial. They also are required to communicate with the beneficiaries, provide an accounting of the assets, and distribute the assets according to the testamentary instrument (will or trust) or if there is none, according to the Probate Code.
Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation represents heirs and beneficiaries as well as executors, administrators, and trustees. If you can concerned about the way an estate is being handled, you have options and remedies. One remedy could be filing a petition in the Probate Court to have the Court address the issue, order an accounting, or remove an executor, trustee, or beneficiary. There are also civil remedies for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, or constructive trust. If you are over 65 years if age, you may have a action for elder abuse.
Contact us for advice about your options if you are a beneficiary and have concerns about the way a will or trust is being administered or if you are an heir and believe you are entitled to an inheritance.