Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Trustee Misconduct

A fiduciary is either a person (such as the executor of an estate) or corporate entity (such as a bank), with the authority and obligation to act for another through a relationship of trust and confidence. Fiduciaries are bound by the highest duties recognized by law, including absolute requirements to act in good faith and in the best interest of the other party. Failure to follow these rules can be devastating to the victims involved — and can give rise to serious breach of fiduciary duty claims.

Fiduciaries, whether they’re corporations or individuals, are supposed to be the most trustworthy members of society. Fiduciary corruption, greed and negligence commonly lead to damaging betrayals and harm innocent people who entrusted their precious property, investments or life savings to a bank trustee, broker, adviser, estate executor or power of attorney in fact.

The Raleigh breach of fiduciary duty attorneys at Zaytoun & Ballew are experienced in obtaining justice for victims harmed by their trusted fiduciaries, and we fight for maximum compensation after a breach. Our firm has handled a wide variety of fiduciary breach claims, representing those victimized by their trustees, financial advisors, attorneys in fact, attorneys, banks, brokerages and others.

Trustee misconduct

North Carolina law recognizes a large variety of fiduciary relationships, with perhaps the most common being between trustee and trust beneficiary. Trustees control and manage other people’s money and property, operating from a position of great power. Despite their stringent duties, trustees too often steal, mismanage or negligently fail to protect beneficiaries’ or co-trustee’s assets.  Beneficiaries and co-trustees usually have less knowledge of the trust’s assets, management or of financial investing in general — and are at risk to harmful misconduct by trustees. Moreover, trusts are frequently aimed to benefit young, elderly or incompetent family members who are especially vulnerable to unscrupulous trustee behavior.

Grounds for breach of fiduciary duty by a trustee include:

  • Fraud
  • Misappropriation or theft of trust funds
  • Negligence or incompetence in trust management
  • Conflicts of interests or self-serving acts
  • Disloyalty to beneficiaries
  • Colluding with certain beneficiaries to the determent of others
  • Failure to account to beneficiaries or keep them informed
  • Allowing a co-trustee to commit a breach
  • Co-mingling outside funds with trust funds

The experienced breach of fiduciary duty and trustee misconduct attorneys at Zaytoun & Ballew have the skills and resources to tackle large corporate trustees who’ve harmed innocent beneficiaries, along with individual trustees and fiduciaries who intentionally or negligently injure those they’re bound by law to protect.

If you’ve been the victim of trustee misconduct or other breach of fiduciary duty, contact Zaytoun & Ballew for a free consultation.